Designers are often interested in learning how an existing space is used so new environments can be programmed appropriately – either to support current activities or make others more likely. Hauptmann, Yu, and Yang at Carnegie Mellon “have developed a[n] [improved] method for tracking the locations of multiple individuals in complex, indoor settings using a network of video cameras . . . . The method was able to automatically follow the movements of . . .
Designers often write surveys to collect information. Jones and Loe’s work indicates that a larger number of response options is not necessarily better than fewer: “In a simulation study, a standard computer-based administration provided a numeric scale for each item ranging from 0 to 10. The tests were then rescored to simulate the effect of only three choices. For the follow-up study, two versions of the scale were created, one with two response options and the other with six response options, and were randomly assigned to participants.
A recent study on an academic campus indicates the value of using photograhs to conduct research before programming begins.
Several new research tools/methodologies are available to designers, and could be useful to those needed acoustical, aesthetic, statistical or worker satisfaction measures.
Space syntax is an important design research tool. N.S. Dalton announced a new iPad app to support people doing space syntax research via a recent e-mail to the space syntax listserv (spacesyntax.jiscmail.ac.uk).
Ray and Smith’s work supports the use of photographs in design-related research, although design is not the focus of their efforts.
Designers ask others to respond to sets of options regularly, for example, for selections from design options or when answering survey or interview questions.
New research confirms that people tend to select objects presented in the middle of a set of options.
Tony McCaffrey developed the generic-parts technique (GPT) to increase the odds that innovative solutions to problems are uncovered.
Bagchi and Davis have completed research on how the manner in which options are presented influences choices made, which complements existing work in the field.