Photography is one of my favourite user-centred research tools. Simply put, a photo allows you to show someone else who wasn’t there. Often we get asked in workshops about getting permission to take photographs at a client’s business. Or how to get access to someone in their home, which is a personal space. The answer could be as simple as give a camera to the person instead.
Anthony Levin-Decanini reconnected after meeting a few years back at a design conference. He worked on a project called Aphasia Talks, that used photography as a method to give a voice to stroke victims who suffer difficulty producing, using or understanding words. Aphasia can impair any or all of the abilities to speak, read and write. What a fantastic approach to empower people to communicate, as well as build empathy with a particular group that would have difficulty communicating their needs.
PhotoVoice is a research technique, as well as non-profit organisation whose mission is to bring about positive social change for marginalised communities through providing them with photographic training with which they can advocate, express themselves and generate income.