Picture Cards

Picture Cards can be used as an effective aid during interviews. The images and or captions on the cards usually relate to general life scenarios or task specific scenes. In a picture card interview the participant may be asked to recall an event, situation, task or story by collating the cards in groups. The interviewer may then pick out cards and ask the participant to elaborate.

This method is particularly useful for interaction, user experience, system and service design. It can be used to gain insight into the habits and behavioural tendencies of a particular group, community, society or individual. Using picture cards in a group context aids dialogue and allows for multiple interpretations.

Contributor: Richard Picciani, 2013

A study conducted by Faculty of Industrial Design, at the University of Technology Eindhoven (TU/e) evaluated the use of picture cards against a conventional "thinking aloud" method of interviewing. To find out which method encouraged more discussion about user experience it was tested on children playing a video game. On average each child communicated 1.1 more problems when using picture cards (4.7 PC & 3.6 TA). Although results show this method to be more successful it is advised that a combination of these methods would provide a more desirable outcome in comparison to replacing the think aloud method entirely with picture cards.

Contributor: Richard Picciani, 2013