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University of Michigan School of Information


Advanced User Research in the Field - SI 682

Advanced User Research

Proposal open date: June 1
Proposal close date: November 2
Project timeline: January-April 
Project duration: 15 weeks
Number of projects needed: 12

SI 682: Advanced User Research in the Field Syllabus


In SI 682: Advanced User Research in the Field, master's-level graduate students engage users or potential users through user research methods to provide creative and compelling recommendations to a specific information-related question proposed by the client related to an early-lifecycle product.


  • Slide deck and final presentation with recommendations supported by user research

Client Requirements 

  • Level of engagement for course/program
    • Primary contact should be available, at minimum, to meet with the team at the beginning, middle and end of the semester
    • Regular feedback and communication to student team based on the course schedule
    • Introduction to stakeholders and users for interviews and/or data gathering
    • Access to organizational data, systems and/or resources necessary to project completion
    • Attend final presentation
    • Complete project evaluation
  • Special requirements for the course/program 
    • Provide projects that are in the the early stages of the product life cycle

Past projects

  • Improving Distance Learning. Students helped a tech company specializing in educational tools uncover the shortcomings posed by distance learning and explored how the company might improve its tools to help educators and students overcome those issues.
  • Small Business Budgeting. Students helped a bank conduct research about small business owners and their interest in budgeting and financial management tools.

Client Testimonials

  • "The students were extraordinarily passionate, insightful and focused on driving recommendations for a revamp of one of our systems. We couldn't be more thankful for the work they've done—our product management and design teams are immediately utilizing their research in our product development efforts. Our users will be engaging directly with the system they recommended, once we launch our revision."
  • "Some of the students' recommendations were items we thought were true beforehand, but didn't have the data to prove; other items were new to us, things we hadn't even considered. Their work forced us to take a new perspective, separated from the emotions of being "creators"—they provided us with some concrete direction that we're now in the process of implementing on our software program."
  • "This project was a success, and the immediate impacts will probably be in different areas than I originally anticipated. The students created a proof of concept that will be useful to several different stakeholders."
  • Past Clients

Contact us

Engaged Learning Office | | (734) 763-1251

Please complete this form to submit a project proposal for one of our client-based courses or other programs, or to receive information about these opportunities throughout the year.