Our Cultural Probe

  • What is your design goal?
    To find out what the user has learned in a day.
    How do they feel about their use of Norwegian?
  • Who are your users?
    Adult refugees in Norway.
  • What is the probe made of (artifacts & tasks)?
    • Artifacts
      • Notebook
      • Pencil
      • Table (a sheet of paper)
    • Tasks
      • In the evening
        • Write down their use of newly learned words or phrases.
        • Write down your favourite word you learned or used today.
        • Put on a yellow star sticker for x amount newly learned words.
        • Circle around «emoji» that represent how they generally felt while speaking Norwegian that day.
        • Write down a goal for the next day. If the goal for the day was completed put up an extra sticker
          Goal examples: Better expression, Learn more phrases \ words, engage in conversation in Norwegian.
      • During the day
        • After a conversation in Norwegian fill out how you felt you mastered it on a scale from 1-5.
        • Comment about what went well in the conversation or what you want to improve on.
  • How do you plan to follow-up on your probe?
    Collect the probe in person (if possible) and thank them for doing the tasks.
    Ask them if they want to be informed about the findings of the data in the probe.
    If yes ask them how they prefer to be contacted.

The results:

Some pictures from the first person’s probe:

We can see that she was having a great time learning Norwegian and was quite happy. We also thought that she was still a beginner based on the newly learned words that she wrote. We can guess that she is a hard-working student and likes learning the language.

Some pictures from the second person’s probe:

The second person was even more satisfied with his Norwegian and happier. We think that’s because she spoke more Norwegian and maybe used the words she has learned correctly and with confidence. We also believe that she is an ambitious and positive person.

Some pictures from the third person’s probe:

The third person is interesting. Her first day was not so good as we can see in the first picture. She had trouble or difficulty writing a text as she explained and wanted to learn more about writing a text. Thankfully, she was happier on her third day and we think that a teacher helped her with her problem.


What surprises us is that 2/3 students either don’t have any goal for the following day or that they somehow forgot/don’t want to share their goals with us. Even though they are the same students that are having a great experience learning the Norwegian language as we saw earlier.
On the other hand, the third person, who is not having a so good experience as the others, wrote down her desired result/s for the following day (but in the wrong place).

However, what can be deduced from this is that it is possible that sharing future plans is not desirable for a large segment of adult learners, or simply because they see it boring. In both cases, we believe that we should not ask this question again in future projects.

No one has used stickers too.


There will always be students who need help with learning new things (reality). Even if the number is small, we have to do something to make it easier for them to learn and to understand faster. That’s why, we are inspired to use technology to create something useful and helpful (like a chat app for smartphones) for everyone, even for smarter people.