Crowdsourcing: Fast Abundant Flexible User Research for Design

Brian Tidball

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

53 Downloads (Pure)


User centered design of products, services, and systems is widely accepted. Numerous user research tools and methods exist to engage users and gather users’ insights to inform the design process. Unfortunately, time, effort, and expense of many tools often delay the availability of user insights. To address this concern, a series of studies investigates how designers can use existing crowdsourcing applications to advance their user research techniques, as a means to inform early design decisions with end-user perspectives. The studies examine the utility of crowdsourcing for informing the design process, illuminating possibilities and limitations. The results make the case for crowdsourcing as a new, fast, abundant, and flexible tool for user research. A conceptual framework defining the process and a set of guidelines have been developed to make crowdsourcing accessible, enabling designers to connect with users early and often, as they pursue user centered design solutions.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Stappers, P.J., Supervisor
  • Mulder, I.J., Supervisor
Thesis sponsors
Award date22 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Crowdsourcing
  • User Research


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