Day Reconstruction Method

Method suitability

Study type

XField studies
Lab studies
Online studies

Development phase

Early prototypes
XFunctional prototypes
XProducts on market

Studied period of experience

Before usage
XAn episode
XLong-term UX

Evaluator / Info provider

UX experts
XOne user at a time
Groups of users
Pairs of users




XWeb services
XPC software
XMobile software
XHardware designs


XTrained researcher
XSpecial equipment


DRM is a self-report method during a field study. Instead of reporting all use cases with the system each day to a diary, the participant picks e.g. 3 most impactful experiences each day to be reported.


Participants captured their daily experiences at the end of each day. This process consisted of two main activities: day reconstruction, and experience narration. In day reconstruction, participants listed all activities of the
day that somehow related to the product. A brief name and an estimation of time spent were recorded for each activity. In experience narration, participants were asked to pick the three most impactful, either satisfying or dissatisfying, ex-periences of that day. They were explicitly instructed to “use [their] own feeling or a definition of what ‘satisfying' and ‘dissatisfying' experience means”. For each of the three experiences, participants were asked to write a story that describes in detail the situation, their feelings and their momentary perceptions of the product.


DRM combines the advantages of an offline method with the accuracy of introspective approaches such as the Experience Sampling.


Analysing the stories is rather laborious.
Field studies are possible for (almost) ready products only.

References about quality of the method

Karapanos, E., Zimmerman, J., Forlizzi, J, Martens, J-B., User experience over time: An initial framework, in CHI '09 Proceedings, 2009, ACM, pp. 729-738.

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