Design Research: A Methodology for Creating User Identified Services

 Tricia Wang’s explanation of what Design Research might be about intersects and why it matters with my current thinking on how the need for direct involvement with actual people who are affected and need a help with articulating their needs to designers, planners and authorities and to take part in how to evolve this experiential knowledge and process. A type of Ethnomethodology is evolving. First  seen on  Scoop.it! actions de concertation citoyenne 

For a long time, I’ve wanted to understand how ethnographically driven research is different from market research.  While I intuitively understood the differences between the two, I didn’t take the time to fully sort it out.

I finally found someone who not only clearly explains the differences, but provides greater clarity and depth to my understanding of design research.

I love the way Panthea Lee of reBoot  contrasts market research and design research in, Design Research: What Is It and Why Do It? Panthea explains that the primary difference is that market research treats people as consumers – wage earners with an income to dispose on a product or service, while design research treats people as users  – humans who are trying to fulfill everyday needs through what means they see as possible.

“Market research identifies and acts upon optimal market and consumer leverage points to achieve success. Its definition of success is not absolute, though metrics are often financial. Design research, on the other hand, is founded in the belief that we already know the optimal market and consumer leverage points: human needs. Unearthing and satisfying those needs is thus the surest measure of success. Through this process, we earn people’s respect and loyalty.”

Panthea’s essay doesn’t put a value judgement on market research, rather it makes the boundaries between both types of research more explicit. This clarity allows researchers the space to be explicit about when they are wearing the market research or the design research hat. Sometimes a project needs to be considered from a market and a design perspective. So this is when this chart below becomes super useful!

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One thought on “Design Research: A Methodology for Creating User Identified Services”

  1. donovan glad the post was helpful – though I believe Panthea Lee did all the hard work in writing the essay explaining Design REsearch 🙂 Do let us know if you’d like to Guest Post on EThnographyMatters.net! We love having people with a variety backgrounds about how they create user-experiences using ethnographic methods/values!

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