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The merits of approaching research with a design mindset

Updated: Apr 7

A design mindset encapsulates the ethos of being open to what could be. When researchers understand that design is not just how things look or work but is actually a mindset. A mindset that challenges the way we work, embraces change, and creates new ways to do things better, in an iterative and collaborative manner. THEN traditional researchers can begin to access a whole new set of benefits.


This is what happens when we approach research with a design led mindset:


> Efficacy.

"In-situ" insights through ethnographic methods get us far closer to reality as less reliance on user recall required in more traditional methods (surveys, focus groups, etc.).

> Efficiency.

It can also be less costly due to reduced labor intensiveness in set up and execution of research execution from an admin, design, and an organising point of view.

> Added value.

Escalating research outputs even further and into solution design. Traditional research tends to stop at insights and is light on solution creation. Design research focuses on the output being a designed solution. This lends a greater helping hand to the business and they aren't left in the dark as much with a library if insights and lack of tangible solution/s.

> Innovation & buy in through collaboration.

A "co-create" approach to insight gathering and distilling. Bringing users into not only insights but also into solution design/direction and testing.

A "co-design" approach to solution creation. Emphasis on collaboration in building solutions that resonate with users. Collaboration includes stakeholders, users, experts, etc.


Just as design research has borrowed from the traditional market research discipline, researchers can borrow from designers too. Try it.


Do you have questions regarding design research? Visit our Q&A

Are you looking for design researchers? Visit us here

Get in touch directly at design@dna.co.za


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