What is Design Research?
by Kevin Makice
Last February, Panthea Lee of Reboot post a nice summary of design research.
The key contributions of the article are (a) differentiating it from market research, and (b) describing the steps in the process that turn the data from design research into practice. Both of these things are commonly misunderstood in organizations who either think they are doing it, but aren’t, or don’t have a culture that makes use of the wisdom that can be mined from these inquiries.
It is critical for designers wishing to include design research in their practice to be able to clearly communicate and correct these misconceptions, and further find ways to inject the process of mining and testing insights into the larger development cycle where it is most useful (during the planning stages of a release). Design is an ongoing conversation between technology, business, and human need. Doing a survey or focus group once won’t cut it.
Reboot (February 6, 2011, by Panthea Lee)