Following the ideas of its creator, B. Dervin, the article describes the main characteristics and principles of sense-making as a model for user studies. An epistemological analysis of the proposal is used to identify its metatheoretical, methodological and heuristic functions. We conclude that if one understands the metatheory and methodology, as is usually done, then sense-making does not strictly fulfill these functions. It is found that this approach is part of the central core of the theory which studies users, and as such plays a heuristic role, guiding the research, by way of interpretation, questioning and approximation to reality. A result for epistemology is the identification and differentiation of object theory, substantive theory and metatheory.
: Users; User studies; Sense-making; Metatheory; Methodology; Heuristics.