touchstone tour and show me

A touchstone tour is a tour through the home and / or surroundings of the participant. This helps to build rapport and provides topics for starting the dialogue. By asking the participant to show how they perform certain tasks or activities (‘show me’ technique), designers can observe how participants actually behave.


mapping, drawing and VISUALISATION

Participants can be attracted and actively engaged by creating things. In this way, they may be willing to share more information during the interview, and by letting them create things, latent and tacit opportunities may also be detected. Letting participants create a simple map of their daily and yearly activities and of the development of their lives, facilitates an easy start and aids in understanding local practices and people’s lives (see TOOL 3 – TIMELINES). It also indicates topics for starting the dialogue. Making participants draw can result in deeper insights that cannot be easily expressed. Visualisation can be used to stimulate the participants to create mappings and drawings of their lives,

resulting in richer stories about experiences, behaviour, dreams and hopes. The visualisations also form a direct line of communication with the participant, and shows the progress of the interview (see TOOL 4 – DRAWING SHEETS). If participants do not want to draw, the researchers can also draw for the participant, or an additional person can be involved.


Participants can sort the different themes in order of appearance, resulting in insights in what and how participants value. The pictograms used on the question cards are also used on the sorting cards, so participants can relate to them. For this technique a sorting sheet has been developed (see TOOL 5 – SORTING SHEET)