Personal tools


Sanders workshop

Generative Tools for Accessing Experience



Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders, Ph.D.


1086 N. 4th Street

Columbus, OH 43201 USA




In response to feedback from participants in the workshops we conducted at the four previous PDC conferences, we will provide hands-on experience with more of the methods we use to uncover emotional components of the user experience. We will introduce participants to two methods: Projective Expression through Image Collaging and Cognitive Mapping. Our intent this year is to have people experience two very different methods in order to stimulate a discussion of the similarities and differences between them. We also plan to use the workshop as a forum for further exploration of the applications of such techniques.


Participatory design, projective, image, collages, cognitive mapping, generative



The workshop will begin with a short presentation of different generative tools being used today to access user experience. We’ll share our mindset about the necessity of respect for the user that is inherent in these participatory methods. We will show how these methods and tools have been used very early in the design development of many types of products, interfaces, systems, and spaces. We will also discuss the situations and places in the design development process where we have found these tools and methods to be particularly appropriate and effective. We will provide a brief explanation of how to use the methods in conjunction with other methods (both traditional as well as participatory). In addition, we will share a few of the newest applications of the generative tools in the domain of collaborative visioning workshops.

The remaining two-and-a-half hours will be a learning-by-doing experience in which the workshop participants make image collages and cognitive maps. Half the participants will be given an Image Collaging Toolkit and half will be given a Cognitive Mapping Toolkit. The user experience under investigation, one that all participants can relate to, will be the same for both groups.

After the making phase, participants will each be given the opportunity to present their collage or map to the other participants. After all their presentations, we will engage in a group discussion comparing the methods/toolkits. For example, Which was easier? Which was more fun? Which revealed the most insight into people’s feelings about the experience? Which revealed the most about people’s understandings of the experience? Which method led to the most creative thinking? Which method worked best for the experience we were investigating?

We would like to end with a group discussion about other uses of generative tools such as image collaging and cognitive mapping. As time permits, we would also like to extend the discussion to ideas about new additions to the toolkits, as well as ideas about new situations of use for generative tools.



Because of the number of toolkits that are needed for hands-on experience, it will be necessary to limit the number of participants to about 15. People with any kind of background are welcome.




Archived CPSR Information
Created before October 2004

Sign up for CPSR announcements emails


International Chapters -

> Canada
> Japan
> Peru
> Spain

USA Chapters -

> Chicago, IL
> Pittsburgh, PA
> San Francisco Bay Area
> Seattle, WA
Why did you join CPSR?

My professor recommended me to join CPSR.