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Design Research Template

Use a Design Research Template to predict links between industry trends to make better business decisions.

About the Design Research Template

A design research map is a tool that can help your team connect and see the collective value of seemingly unrelated practices.

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What is a Design Research Template?

A template for design research shows the relationship between two key intersections in research methodologies: mindset and approach. This framework helps researchers to plan and conduct studies, as well as to communicate their findings.

The framework in divided on four quadrants:

  • Behavioral: explores what users do and why they behave in certain ways in different situations.
  • Attitudinal: explores what users think and finds the reasons to their feelings.
  • Quantitative: the data we receive from the two previous quadrants is usually numbers-based.
  • Qualitative: the collected data helps us better understand users behavior and what their attitudes are.

We can track distinct or overlapping methodologies by analyzing the information in those quadrants:

  • Being design-led means that the designers or researchers are being driven by either critical or generative trends. You can either design for or with people.
  • Being research-led means applying methods used by psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, and engineers throughout history.
  • When researchers and designers take a participatory mindset, they view users as co-creators in the design process. This means that findings from research can be used to shape products or services to better meet customer needs.
  • Designing or researching from an expert mindset means viewing oneself as an expert who is designing for users and consumers.

Mapping is a helpful approach for user experience designers and clients to understand the current state, as well as predicting how tools, methods, and trends may shift in the future.

What is design research?

Design research helps your team to consider the collective value by forcing them to look at multiple disciplines from a new perspective, it helps them think outside the box to find new ways to improve.

Reminding your team that you can veer away from tunnel-visioning toward another way of doing things can help drive the potential for innovation and change. For example, aligning design thinking with methods from other industries might create new opportunities for growth. The design research approach allows you to consider different options.

Create a design research map with FigJam

FigJam's whiteboard tool is the perfect canvas for creating and sharing the design mapping process with your team every step of the way. To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Collect your data. The data you need will depend on what you want to learn from the process. Identify your goal and start your research to collect relevant data.
  2. Add new research methods if needed. If you have a new design research methodology that you want to try- put it on the map. This will help you decide what the best mindset and approaches are for your business.
  3. Edit label text to the one you want to present. You can represent a different perspective by editing labels, deleting or adding new methods whenever you need.
  4. Add new methods or trends as you go. As you learn more about design research, you can adjust your design research model.
  5. Share the design research with all collaborators. FigJam is a good tool for getting a design research team to work, spread ideas and learn together.

When to use design research mapping

You can use the map to help explain design concepts or problem-solving techniques to your team or clients. As a design practitioner, you can also use design research maps to:

  • Make notes about your ideas, research project, or plan. A design map is a way to bring your ideas to the new level and learn about new methods in depth.
  • Clarify why you need to use different research methods. Use your design research map to show your client what methods you'll be using.
  • Understand the competitive market. To make sure you are different from your competitors, use the design map to find areas where they are better than you and work on improving those areas.
  • Understand the historical context. This can develop your understanding and help you make informed decisions.
  • Create a long-term vision. As trends shift, you need to keep on top of your strategy. Using the design map allows you to think about the long term and make strategic yet innovative business decisions.
  • Translate data into actionable outcomes. Using all the data you put into the design research map, you can create actionable tasks that will help your business succeed.

This map should be used as a tool to help plan for the future and to start conversations between people who work in different areas.

What are the 5 types of research design?

There are five types of design research categories:

  • Descriptive research. Collecting data, analyzing it, and presenting it in an understandable way.
  • Correlational research. Looking at the relationship between two variables without any involvement from the researcher.
  • Experimental research. Establishing a cause and effect, experimental research takes a scientific approach with two sets of variables.
  • Diagnostic research. Researching the underlying cause for a particular condition.
  • Explanatory research. Using the researchers' thoughts and ideas to explore their theories in more detail.

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