Measuring the Impact of Human-Centered Design Research




Background/Objective: Human-centered design (HCD) is an approach to research that aims to facilitate participant engagement in research studies. Research Jam is the Patient Engagement Core of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (Indiana CTSI) that applies HCD to health research. The objective of this project is to assess the impact and efficacy of the HCD approach in health research. This project follows-up with previous investigators who have completed a project with Research Jam to measure impact on investigators’ attitudes towards HCD and participant engagement as well as the efficacy and implementation of the project-specific tools and deliverables that resulted from the work with Research Jam. 

Project Methods: A survey was developed in Qualtrics and sent to investigators (N=34) from Research Jam’s portfolio of completed projects (2015-2020). Five follow-up interviews were conducted and analyzed in NVivo.

Results: Survey response rate was 50%. Of the projects listed by the investigators, 89% had deliverables that were reported as feasible and relevant to the target audience. Long-term sustainability of the deliverables showed room for improvement. For all projects, 81% were reported to have helped the investigator learn how to better engage with participants to inform their subsequent research.

Potential Impact: These findings demonstrate that HCD produces deliverables that are feasible and relevant to target audiences, and health researchers view HCD as a useful method to engage more directly with research participants. These results can serve as a guide for Research Jam to continue to refine processes, such as improving long-term sustainability of the deliverables, and to direct future projects.