Ideas on Design #02

The value of research


Design is valuable. I have no doubts about that.  

It fosters meaningful connections between artefacts and individuals. It helps organisations communicate what makes them different. And it enables us to build solutions that are relevant for the user or target audiences. Even on economics, the financial performance between companies that value these strategy driven uses of design has been historically better than those that don't. 

That's because design is not about the visual outcome. Design is a methodology. A research driven process where the Designer creatively transforms information and insights into value and meaning. Where audience relevance is achieved by aligning our creative decisions with research findings and empathy. 

But then why are design decisions often based on personal bias and judged on aesthetics? 

That's the reason why I've dedicated this issue to research methods and value driven by insights. Research should be part of every design process. It improves stakeholder buy-in and allows us to solve problems with intent and understanding. 

Hope you enjoy.
David



On methods and processes




Service Design Tools

A collection of tools and tutorials that help dealing with design challenges. As the name suggests, Service Design Tools is more oriented towards service design, but there are a certainly a lot of overlaps with other design fields. There, you will find different methods and also step-by-step instructions on how to use them. In my opinion, it misses some valuable formative research methods such as competitive analysis, but it still is a great source of information.




Project spotlight




Youtube — Saffron Consultants

Saffron Consultants partnered with the the YouTube brand team to design the first brand update in the company history. On the following video you can also watch Chris Bettig (YouTube Creative Director) and Gabor Schreier / Matt Atchison (Saffron Consultants) present the project. It is a great example on how insights generated through research can influence the ideation of a brand design system. 




Just in Case — With Company

In this project, With Company applied research methods to define a new vision for on-demand insurance. From formative research methods such as interviews and surveys, to user flow mapping and prototype testing. This is how it is done. Value creation from research and insights.




Reading recommendations




The Business Value of Design — McKinsey

In the following article McKinsey builds upon previous studies, such as those from the Design Management Institute, to deliver one of the most up to date and compelling reports on the correlation between business value and design actions. 




A Designer‘s Research Manual — Jenn & Kenn Visocky O’Grady

After listening to a podcast episode where the authors Jenn & Kenn Visocky O’Grady were featured as guests, I decided to give it a try. I think A Designer’s Research Manual is not a book meant to be read from start to end, but rather used as a reference throughout your career. It covers all topics related to research in design. It addresses both formative and summative research methods. From literature reviews to guidance on how to use user-based research methods in an iterative design process.




On my ears




Personas — Mixed Methods podcast

Personas help designing with the needs, experiences, behaviours and goals of the consumer or user in mind. In this episode of the Mixed Methods podcast, Mady Torres de Souza, Sohit Karol & Olga Hording from Spotify discuss what went into creating one of the coolest and more in depth personas project out there.




Quote of the week




Wish you a great week,
David


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