Sampling in design research: eight key considerations

Philip Cash, Ola Isaksson, Anja Maier, Joshua Summers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)
94 Downloads (Pure)


How a research team defines their study sample can be decisive in shaping impact on both practice and theory. However, sampling in design research faces several major challenges, including diverse terminology, limited prior literature, and lack of common framework for discussing sampling decisions. We address these challenges by bringing together guidance from across related research fields as well as cross-referring to examples from published design research. We offer a structured process for sample development and present eight key sampling considerations. The paper contributes to research method selection, development, and use, as well as extending discussions surrounding knowledge construction, standards of reporting, and design research impact.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101077
Number of pages21
JournalDesign Studies
Early online date15 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2022


  • research methods
  • design science
  • design research
  • case studies
  • experimental design


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  • 15th International Design Conference (DESIGN2018)

    Anja Maier (Keynote/plenary speaker), Ola Isaksson (Keynote/plenary speaker), Philip Cash (Keynote/plenary speaker) & Joshua Summers (Keynote/plenary speaker)

    22 May 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesKey-note speaker and plenary lectures at conferences

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