Over the past 15 years, we have conducted a variety of projects developing methods for contextmapping and (user) participation , in the form of  PhD theses, in education, in industrial cases, and as part of National and European funded larger projects. Below we list the projects. For publications from this research, see the resources page.

Upcoming and running projects

  • MyFutures (NWO/STW)
  • Codesign with kids (NWO-NRO)

Recent projects

  •  Pro-Fit
  • PSS101 (CRISP)
  • Innovation in Services

PhD projects

The PhD projects were not part of a single programme, but there have been and are many collaborations, shared studies, addressing different themes of interest, as shown in the figure below.


  • Froukje Sleeswijk Visser (2009) studied ways of communicating User Experience insights to design teams. Bringing the everyday life of people in design.
  • Helma van Rijn (2012) treated methods for designers to learn about and from difficult-to-reach users, such as children with autism. Meaningful Encounters.
  • Carolien Postma (2012) investigated how to design for the social relations people have. Creating Socionas.
  • Christine de Lille (2014) dealt with the challenges and opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises in adopting User-Centered Design methodology. UCD4SME.
  • Annemiek van Boeijen (2015) studied how designers can cope with cultural differences when designing for people from a different culture. Crossing Cultural Chasms.
  • Fenne van Doorn (2016) developed ways to let users, in particular children, take part in user research in the role of a co-researcher.
  • Brian Tidball (due 2016) examined ways to use internet crowdsourcing platforms as a means for obtaining user insights in the fuzzy front end.
  • Aaron Houssian (due 2016) explored the communication between departments in large companies, especially how user research insights are (not) handed over effectively.
  • Lilian Henze (due 2016) studied service innovation in networks of users, designers, and service providers.
  • Chen Hao (started 2014) is conducting research on how generative design techniques can be fitted to the cultural interaction preferences of Chinese users.

Further PhD-projects supervised from the team

  • Joanna Kwiatkowska (affiliation): impact of user insights on business perspective
  • Irene Maldini (VU/AMFI): User Involvement in Design: Implications for the Sustainability of Clothing