Probes in design research evoke personal responses from people's everyday lives in order to gain a holistic view of participants. Different types or technologies for using probes as a design research method were developed after they had first been mentioned, but hardly any guidelines or recommendations for designing probes or discussions about applying probes exist in the literature. Therefore, providing frameworks for characterizing probes and guidelines about options and decisions in the design process is the main goal of the thesis. Three developed frameworks show characteristics of probes comprising use of probes, probe tasks and strategies in the design process. The application of these frameworks to existing case studies resulted in frequently used characteristics of probes and combinations of probe characteristics. Moreover, characteristics of probes are understood in different or similar ways by researchers. As probe characteristics are combinable in all possible ways and different assumptions of the utility of probes exist, the need for recommendations for designing, applying and analyzing probes is enhanced. Guidelines about options in the design process from design to evaluation and decisions in designing probe tasks have been created in order to facilitate the designer/researcher in conducting a probe study.