First project milestone: Empathize

Literature Review & Environmental Scan

Perform a literature search to learn more about your user community and the design context. This should be done using a combination of the research literature (for journal articles, conference proceedings and so on) and commercial search engines (for examples of existing tools).


  • For the research literature, key sources include UBC Library’s Discovery Tool, Summons, ACM Digital Library, and scholarly databases in information science, psychology and other disciplines depending on the nature of your design. For example, a tool aimed at mental wellness should incorporate health and psychology literature.
  • Your literature search should focus on: 1) the target user community and their needs ; and 2) existing, related tools and their affordances and drawbacks.
  • Each member of the team should locate and annotate 2-4 sources and 1 existing technology that serves your user community/supports a similar purpose. In other words, a team of 4 people should have an annotated bibliography of between 8-16 sources and 4 examples of existing technologies.
  • Each annotation should contain: 1) a concise summary of the source (i.e., What is it about? What were the main findings or take-aways); 2) a critique or reflection of the source (e.g., What questions remain unanswered?)
  • Length: ½ page per annotation; each team member should initial their annotations
  • Cite all sources using APA Style. If you are unfamiliar with APA, sources such as the Perdue Online Writing Lab can help: (https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/general_format.html 
  • Submit the annotated bibliography containing all team members’ contributions: “AnnotatedBib_TeamName” to Canvas under “Assignments.”