Designers are not researchers: the difference between design and social research from Sam Ladner is worth a read by all designers engaging in this kind of work. I suspect we’re all guilty of it. My excuse would be that sometimes its necessary and useful for designers to do the research, but I’m not sure I would be arguing the point the other way around, that social scientists should do a bit of design.

Does Your Research Exist?

by Andy Polaine on April 11, 2012

in Links

Does Your Research Exist? Another great list of tips from John Thackara about how to get your research out there in a useful way. These three are particularly good:

Tip 3 When presentiong to me, assume I know nothing. NOTHING! The first two minutes – of my visit, or of your presentation – should answer the following questions that are rattling around in my addled mind:
“Where am I, and why am I here?”
“Who are these people?”
“To what question is this story an answer?”

Tip 4 Always answer that last question! State, explicitly, the insight, discovery, or invention you have made, that you are giving me to take away.

Tip 13 Treat PR consultants politely but also with caution.They often never get it,whatever it is – but will act as if they do. If your company insists you use a PR team, use them as support – but never give them complete control over your communications.

Design research: sorting your shoe walking from your talk talking «

April 10, 2012

Design research: sorting your shoe walking from your talk talking « is a good piece on being realistic about design research and choosing the appropriate method from @skewiff (Mel Edwards). I liked this update of the old cliché: Do I think this is the most overused collection of words in relation to research: “To really […]

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Rigor and relevance in interaction design research

March 26, 2012

Rigor and relevance in interaction design research is a good find by @nicolasnova from the Near Future Laboratory. As Nicolas describes: It addresses the problem of ‘disciplinary anxiety’ that is often felt by people in this field and the inherent discussion about what constitutes ‘good research’ in terms of rigor and relevance. The paper by […]

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Design Research: What Is It and Why Do It?

March 13, 2012

Design Research: What Is It and Why Do It? is a good piece from Panthea Lee arguing the case for design research in the public and international development sectors. As she says, “understanding and meeting human needs are critical for improved livelihoods and better governance.” The work Reboot is doing looks fascinating and, I think, […]

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Design Research – A Failure of Imagination?

July 7, 2011

Have design education and design research failed to fire up the imagination in public discourse? I believe so and I believe the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) mantra has unbalanced thinking about education curricula in general. John Thackara’s recent Observers Room newsletter notes the same: Last month, as the Dutch government expelled trouble-making artists […]

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Understanding Interactivity Through Play

December 28, 2010

Some months ago I officially became Dr. Polaine (Andy Polaine, PhD. for you Americans) and have been planning to write a series of posts about the main themes of my thesis, Developing A Language Of Interactivity Through The Theory Of Play, for some time. So to coincide with a post over at Core77 about the […]

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Hello Dave. I’d like to interview you.

October 19, 2010

Hi folks – can you help me find some interviewees? I’m working on some initial research into Ambient Assisted Living with the iHome Lab here in Luzern. The project is about bringing a human-centred design approach to an area that, despite it’s name, is heavily driven by technological development rather than people’s actual needs. (The […]

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Is Design Research Useless for Innovation?

December 11, 2009

Don Norman has just posted a very provocative and thoughtful piece about the value of design research, or not. “I’ve come to a disconcerting conclusion: design research is great when it comes to improving existing product categories but essentially useless when it comes to new, innovative breakthroughs.” You should read the full article, but he […]

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Exploring Near Field Communication with Touch

October 15, 2008

A selection of RFID tags from Timo’s Flickr set. Touch is a research project examining Near Field Communication that enables connections between mobile phones and physical things. You will have probably used some of them already in your daily life – Oyster cards, swipe cards, etc. (see above image). It’s an interesting cross-over of cultural […]

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