Design Research is a process that we use to gather qualitative information about a situation with the intent to create a product or service to improve it. People trained in Design Research generally have a background in user experience design, ethnography, or anthropology, though researchers come from any background.

Design research itself can be thought of as a toolkit – there are many different methods for gleaning information depending on the situation we’re studying. The basic principles, however, are similar across all methods. I get into these in a series of articles below.

1. What is Design Research? 

If you’re new to to design research, this is a good place to start. (5 minute read)

2. Preparing for Design Research

What to do to get the most out of your Design Research project. (6 minute read)

3. Design Research in the Room

You’ve been invited to participate with the Design Research team – what do you need to know? (6 minute read)

4. Three things we’re trying to learn

A little bit of psychology about why we structure interviews the way we do. (10 minute read)

5. Building the Script

How do to customize an interview script to fit your business needs. (6 minute read)


Design Sprints and Traditional Design Research

There are a lot of different styles for design research depending on the context of our project. It may also be helpful to check out this comparison I wrote between traditional design research and Google Ventures Design Sprints.