Is Design Research Worthy??(part 1)

Research is a vigorous step to take any action positively. It is a milestone in achieving any objective and provides strength in decision making. Similar is the case with design. Good research helps in designing with various research methods to understand the mental model of a user, technology, creative ideas, perception, market understanding, etc. With all this information a designer can improve the overall user experience.

Let’s compare two scenarios, first where the research work is not being done from starting. In this scenario, few questions arise like “How would the designer think without the research”, “how he will differentiate himself from other”, “how he knows what is the right fit technology for the user” or “how will he know he is choosing the right path”. Yes, the answer to all the questions is research, It is not that a designer can’t design without the research but it’s for sure that design would never stand out in the queue of designs.

Picture captured at the time of  Shadowing ( Research method )

If we talk about UX/UI designers their main function is to represent a complete business concept on an interface. In the case of research, UX/UI designer has to think as a user for a better experience. They have to design in such a way that it not only consists of the business ideology but also the look and feel, interactivity with the product is also catered and all this is not possible without research. The UX/UI designer will first do UX research to understand the business model, what is trending in between users of that business, competitor analysis that what other services are serving the user. UX/UI designer understands the present scenario of the user. How they are working now or what are their strengths and weaknesses. It makes researchers understand the need for new design opportunities.

Research can be done by using various research methods like person interview with open-ended questions, questionnaire, competitive analysis, shadowing, ethnography, day in a life, focus group, etc. For example, an Interview is done for different users with a set of questions. These questions are designed in such a way that designers get to know about the ecosystem between users and the system. The designer creates personas on the basis of the analyzed interview which shows different faces of the users for a business. Personas help in understanding the user context, attitudes, behaviors, needs, motivation, interest, challenges, pain points, design opportunities, goals, etc which bridges the gap between what business is offering and what customer needs. And that’s how design research plays an important role in creating a better user experience.

Project: Communication device for the Elderly 

 Persona Name: Passive