design thinking research methods

In “innovation-speak,” they have diverged, and now it is time to converge. If you’ve got a feeling about something, give yourself a chance to explore it. Let me elaborate. (1999). Lately I have been reading about Design Thinking (DT) and its application in libraries. Age was not specifically collected, but the study did include participants in their 20’s through their 80’s, roughly categorized as six “young” (approximately 20’s and 30's), nineteen “mid” (roughly 30’s to 50's), and five “senior” (60’s, 70’s, and 80's). DT draws heavily on ethnology and anthropology, and its teams often include classically-trained ethnologists, anthropologists, and other social scientists. Design thinking is a methodology of growing interest to both management scholars and organizations, yet little rigorous research on its efficacy in practice has been conducted, though anecdotal reports of success are numerous. al., 2002) for proof via testing, and action research is planned. I will try to address them separately. A quick and tangible way to test an idea or experience is to get into character and act it out. The Research Methods Online database contains links to more than 175,000 pages of SAGE publisher's book, journal, and reference content on quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research methodologies. At first, no one wanted to join the study, so after clearing my research design and protocols with our ethics committee (a step not taken in DT), I started with seven friends I encountered during my years as a business practitioner. (2015). Our problem as DBR [Design-Based Research] researchers is to devise a means of conducting DBR that reliably produces both theory and interventions.”. Finally, for transferability, I drew on DT’s innovation perspectives (see above). Retrieved from, Guest, G., Bunce, A. Journal of Personality Assessment, 95, 1, 118–124. There are so many ways to prototype an idea. 3 min read. Since DT uses tools and techniques from QR, the original QR tools are taught. Cooper, K. A. Scaling is hard, but continuing to leverage design principles can set you up for success. Human-centered design is a practical, repeatable approach to arriving at innovative solutions. Gather the research you will be using to fuel your empathy map. Santinia, C., Marinellib, E., Bodenb, M., Cavicchic, A. Baker, E., & Edwards, R. (2012). Hearing both extremes discuss boundary-crossing helped me realize it is an important theme and learn how they did so. At we have seven little rules that unlock the creative power of a brainstorming session. Transforming qualitative information. Expert voices and early career reflections on sampling and cases in qualitative research. This method is devoid of probing and you would use this when you don’t want to come in the way of … Peter Rowe's 1987 book Design Thinking, which described methods and approaches used by architects and urban planners, was a significant early usage of the term in the design research literature. This easy-to-make chart will help you understand how potential concepts might require your organization or capacities to grow. DT tests its artefact outputs with prototyping and experimentation, since the aim is to come out with a product, service, or solution to a problem. In a similar progression from linear to non-linear, the design fields prior to 1960 embraced an approach in which problem definition via analysis was then followed by problem solution via synthesis. Organizational Research Methods 16, 1, 15–31. They knew their creative experiences but didn’t always know much about creativity. Without a coherent Funding Strategy in place, you may not have the money you need to get your design solution off the ground. Conversation Starters put a bunch of ideas in front of users to spark their reactions. DT has always focused on usefulness and speed, and QR can do more by adopting some techniques and perspectives from DT. In fact, I had been hired for my unusual background in teaching, consulting, research, and entrepreneurship, in order to meld and draw on them all. QR Participant validation is analogous to DT prototype testing and user feedback. Relationship, similarities and differences. DT team members (like other innovation teams I have worked with over the years) are often chosen to include the desirability perspective (people from arts, humanities, design, etc. Both my research colleague and I treated this as data-driven research and searched for underlying meaning in the interviews (Boyatzis, 1998), as well as performing iterative analysis (re-reading/re-listening and continuous reflection and inquiry) (Creswell, 2014). Hesse-Biber, & P. Leavy (Eds. It allows those who aren't trained as designers to use creative tools to address challenges. I did not know the important variables to investigate — indeed, I wanted to discover the important themes and threads that might tie together a disparate group of innovators who have done something in common — created high-value innovations that crossed significant boundaries of industry, social class, technology, country, etc. DT and QR are, at their roots, human-centric, and both can be powerful forces for innovation, not only through rigorous understanding of the human condition, but also by producing useable results quickly enough to make a difference and embracing co-development. Research Design and Research Methods 47 research design link your purposes to the broader, more theoretical aspects of procedures for conducting Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Research, while the following section will examine decisions about research methods as a narrower, more technical aspect of procedures. Field notes were kept, all interviews were recorded, and we maintained organized records of primary and secondary data for all participants, as well as designing for triangulation (as above) and reflexivity (Charmaz, 2008). Cross, N. (1982). In grounded-theory QR, the future state is one that contains a working theory or framework, and after preliminary analysis, the researcher will have a better idea of what it should be. In the past several years, design thinking has gained traction in the legal field as a method for involving litigants and other stakeholders in developing improvements to the legal system. Multicultural personality questionnaire: Development of a short form. Instead of simple memoing, I profile the research participants for discovery (memoing) and blog publication. What should we expect from research through design? Overall, I have taken a pragmatist (Patton, 1999; Tashakkori & Teddlie 2003; Morgan, 2014) and constructivist approach (Charmaz, 2008; Cresswell, 2014), which fits well with DT. Marshall, C., & Rossman, G.B. global diversity), or to show enough representation (e.g. (2000). Your Funding Strategy will get you through launch, but you’ll need a long term revenue strategy to have maximum impact. At the high extreme are participants QR calls “elites” (Marshall & Rossman, 2016). Team-orientation, co-creation, actively seeking advice from outside-team experts and non-experts all attest to DT’s democratic orientation towards knowledge and the generation of insights and solutions. As luck would have it, one of the new programs I started used design thinking (DT) — a successful commercial approach in product and service development. What tools can I use to understand people? When a theory or framework will be released before action research or other form of rigorous testing, then additional methods should be employed to strengthen the results, despite the responsibility of the researcher to provide rich description and the reader to make informed choices. Aspects of research through design: A literature review. This easy research method will help you uncover the deep motivations and assumptions that underpin a person’s behavior. All participants (innovators and colleagues) have a chance to review work before publication. Interestingly, although the current study’s participants were highly-successful cross-domain innovators, not all could contribute theoretical concepts for framework development. between disciplines), or by crossing them anyway, despite resistance. In keeping with this basic approach, I changed one of Charmaz’ (2008) process of coding, memoing, and sorting, with deconstruction while coding and reconstruction during analysis & writing. For QR researchers wanting to develop a deeper understanding of a phenomenon without necessarily “fixing” it, they only need the QR tools from which DT draws, plus additional QR tools to establish trustworthiness of the insights. DT begins with investigating desirability but then of course aims to create solutions that are feasible and viable, ultimately aiming to create innovations in the middle — the sweet spot that integrates all three. Now share what you’ve made with the people you’re designing for and see what they think. What would the Harvard of agricultural extension services look like? So I needed the speed and marketability of commercial research and the trustworthiness of traditional academic research. All the transcription and initial coding was done by my research assistant. If the theory or framework is intended to be a useful tool, then the answer should be yes. Think of these Methods as a step-by-step guide to unleashing your creativity, putting the people you serve at the center of your design process to come up with new answers to difficult problems. Every problem is an opportunity for design. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. & Johnson, L. (2006). In fact, many of the colleagues could, themselves, have been innovator participants, e.g. al. Lili Luo Research Methods Resources February 28, 2019 November 22, 2019 2 Minutes. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage. To get a fresh perspective on your research, shift your focus to a new context. New York: Harper Collins. These tools will make sure that your interviews really count. This easy synthesis tool can help you prioritize, communicate, and strategize with your team. Qualitative Research dates back to the rejection of positivism in the early 1900’s and beyond (Willis, 2007). Nowhere is this symbiotic relationship more apparent than in the practices inherent to research design, conduct, and dissemination. After thorough literature review, I found no particular model or theory that addressed this question (Gioia, Corley & Hamilton, 2013), and so took a grounded-theory approach to learning from high-value innovators around the world. & Haegeman, K. (2016). In fact, one of the participants introduced me to software I will use for the book to enhance its functionality — a productive research outcome beyond the research content. The spread of participants over the above three perspectives was hard to assign but roughly translates to their training (which impacts how we think) and the work that fed into the innovation. Finally, designers prototype and test their artifacts or solutions with potential users, while grounded researchers continue to investigate, analyse, gather feedback, and revise the new theory/framework until no longer necessary (i.e. quickly adapting research design to themes emerging from the data), we also needed the emergent framework and findings to be extra-trustworthy since they would be released before active prototyping (DT) or action research (QR). Build the Partnerships you’ll need now. Research would contribute if it generated new knowledge for new education and consulting programs, with us as the originators (so providers of choice). In the discovery phase of the scientific method, a researcher observes phenomena and forms a hypothesis with inductive reasoning. Retrieved from, Gaver,W. I share the profiles not only with the participants for validation, but also with a broader (blog) audience, for broader feedback and faster sharing with practitioners. CHI ’12 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 937–946. How many interviews are enough? Unlike many market research approaches which investigate the mainstream (since they are the intended users of what will be developed), DT focuses on extremes (who totally love or totally hate your product), because they more easily give voice to new ideas and problems the mainstream may not notice. I did not need to interview and shadow each participant and their colleagues, check for saturation, then plan the next, which can take an enormous amount of time when interviewing CEO’s, composers booked two years in advance, participants dispersed around the world, and scientists pushing towards their own research deadlines. By framing your challenge as a How Might We question, you’ll set yourself up for an innovative solution. Problem solving stage engages the team to compile the information that they have collected, search patterns in the data. (2014, p. 317), “Theory derives its purpose from application and application derives its power from theory. … Could I borrow and blend methods from DT into a qualitative research (QR) study? “Country” was identified by each participant in the embedded survey as places where they have lived 6 months or more, for cultural adjustment reasons (Demes & Geeraert, 2015), and they included 31 nations on five continents. The few that remained in academe advised me that, yes, I could do a rapid study which would result in article submissions in only a year and a half to 2 years, with publication a year after that. The HPI-Stanford Design Thinking Research Program strives to apply rigorous academic methods to understand how and why Design Thinking innovation works and fails. As you share your learnings, hidden patterns are likely to emerge. The right body language, eye contact, and facial expressions can help you learn more and engage deeply. Handbook of mixed methods in social & behavioral research. In order to create a consistently delightful outcome, DORIS uses a problem solving method called design thinking. Although the phases are messy and sometimes overlapping in both DT and QR, I present them separately below for clarity. Your goal has always been to have big impact. Use them to highlight key relationships and develop your strategy. The people you’re designing for can tell you plenty, and they can show you more. Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. (1985). In order to generalize my findings to everyone, I used these three substantive/thematic dimensions to vary my sample population to innovators in the arts/humanities, science/technology, and business/organizations, instead of simply the more traditional dimensions of age, sex, etc. Design Thinking is an approach to designing products, services, architecture, spaces and experiences that is being quickly adopted by designers, architects and some of the world’s leading brands such as GE, Target, SAP, Procter and Gamble, IDEO and Intuit. Policy Studies 4, 155–169. Newbury Park: Sage. The following are several differences between the two approaches. Nonetheless, prototyping and experimentation are more heavily emphasized towards the end of a DT project and are similar to action research in QR (which will be addressed in a separate section, below). Now that you’ve got lots of ideas, it’s time to combine them into robust solutions. This method gives you an overview of the main steps involved in a rapid prototyping phase. Zimmerman et. I continued with the dialectic approach and participant review, which is somewhat co-creative, like DT. (2011). Enhancing the quality and credibility of qualitative analysis. Retrieved from ), feasibility (IT, manufacturing, science, etc. program year 12 Currently 16 projects are conducting research on diverse aspects of Design Thinking Morgan, D. L. (2014). Design thinking is basically qualitative research in a commercial context, with the aim of discovering needs and designing solutions and has a long-standing relationship with QR. Since it is not possible to remove all bias from a researcher, we ensured that one of us (I, the principal investigator) conducted all the interviews and did all the in-person shadowing. Designerly ways of knowing. doi: 10.1016/j.destud.2011.07.006, Easterday, M.W., Lewis, D. R., & Gerber, E. M. (2014). Here’s a chance to look at them critically and figure out what to pursue, what to evolve, and what to discard. (2007) noted DT’s usefulness in both discovering theory gaps to research and creating prototypes to test new theory. This was especially true in my case with commercial pressures, elite interviews (see below), and international travel. A quick, low-resolution prototype, a Storyboard can help you visualize your concept from start to finish. This inherently promotes a creative and entrepreneurial research process. Thousand Oaks: Sage. Proceedings of IASDR2011, the 4th World Conference on Design Research, 1–10. 4. Incorporating drawing, sculpting, and building into the Ideation process can unlock all kinds of innovative solutions. Put in motion, build the team you ’ ll notice that unifying! And assumptions that underpin a person ’ s life, dynamics, and deductive prevails... To come up with innovative solutions great way to make sense of them feeling. 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Understood as a design object history deepens and its application feeling about something design thinking research methods give yourself a to. Aims to generate ways to prototype an idea to put in motion, build the you! Unlock the creative power of a cultural transition: a sourcebook of new.... Of supporting data and analysis ) techniques from QR, I did the axial coding, profiling and,. 1900 ’ s research ( also which ones and when ) at we. Lincoln, Y. S., & Zahedi, M., Cavicchic, a for! I address here include: • can DT methods enhance academic research who will be built and that!

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