Design Research

Lecturer: Nina Farkache

Design Research is one of the most significant research methodologies carried out during the design process. Its goal is to support and inspire the design of products/services/processes, and to guide the design strategy of an organization. Design research is human-centered. Its built on the premise of understanding the people for whom we are designing.

The main phase of the Design Research process is a unique qualitative user research that includes a variety of methods and techniques from the design practice and from different fields such as anthropology and sociology. These methods help reach a deep understanding of users – their behavior, what drives them, hidden needs, perceptions and emotions. Research insights are then translated into innovative development and design opportunities that address the deep needs of users and lead to an optimal user experience.

Design Research plays an important role in technology integrated design processes since it shifts the focus from the technology itself (that often becomes the main focus) to the users and their needs. It makes sure that designers and developers use technology in ways that help people and improve their user experience. In this course we “learn by doing”. It combines practical work in teams – where students practice various research methods hands-on – with frontal lectures. After completing this course, students are able to lead and conduct design research.