Design Research Workshop

Uncovering Customer Value and Innovation Opportunity

The emerging field of Design Research has become accepted as a necessary part of the design process for creating innovation and customer value. While many design schools now emphasize the importance of understanding target product user needs, most focus on the teaching design techniques. This course was designed to give new and experienced designers the tools and methodologies for effectively conducting research in the context of product design.

More than an overview of techniques available, our Design Research course provides practical knowledge of how to carry out research effectively from planning and carrying out research to communicating results throughout the organization.

Duration: Our Design Research Workshops are adapted to the client needs. Workshops range from one-day lectures to longer term projects resulting in the design of actual product prototypes.

Hands-on Exercises

To provide hands-on experience in carrying out various aspects of research, we provide optional fieldwork exercises during which participants carry out an actual research project. Our consultants support participants at various stages of design research. The type and duration of exercises depend on client needs. Options range from half-day fieldwork exercises to full design projects.

Syllabus Overview

Design for Customer Value

  • Models of emotional design
  • Levels of customer value
  • Subconscious values
  • Introduction to customer behavior
  • Example: Paradox of Choice
  • Customer segmentation and personas

Research Methods Overview

  • Qualitative or Quantitative
  • Direct vs. indirect questioning
  • In-depth interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Psychology exercises
  • Projective techniques
  • Shadowing
  • Surveys
  • etc.
  • Collaborative design methods (brainstorming, walkthroughs, etc.)

Special Module: Observational Research

  • Why Observational Research
  • Types of Observational Research
  • Diary and journal-keeping

Research Planning

  • Selecting the type of research
  • Balancing cost-benefit
  • Triangulating: Using multiple methods

Research Protocols

  • Screening customers
  • Writing an introduction script
  • Writing effective discussion guides
  • How to not influence responses
  • Gaining participant trust
  • Research ethics and legal issues
  • Researching different markets

Analysis and Report

  • Analyzing results
  • Writing a report
  • Communicating results across the organization


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