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Research through Design is a term that is used primarily in academic work in the design communities, especially in interaction design and HCI, but it shares more than is usually discussed with other arts and engineering disciplines and with design practice.

  • Utilizing the design process as a reflective research activity to enhance design practices
  • This examines the tools and processes of design thinking and making within the design project, bridging theory, and building knowledge.
  • It is constituted by the design process itself, including the critical act of recording and communicating the steps, experiments, and iterations of the design.
  • Designers utilize their work, including sketches, drawings, models, and prototypes to interrogate ideas, test hypotheses, and pose new questions.
  • As an approach to interaction design, this method integrates models and theories with technical knowledge in the design process.
  • Designers who conduct their research through creative, critically reflective practice may at once be responding to a design brief and a set of larger questions.
  • Documentation is critical to contextualize and communicate design action, advance scholarship, and enhance the inventory of design resources.

More Readings,

Testing of prototypes, products, or interfaces by users of a system in design development This gauges human expectations against a designed artifact, determining whether something is useful, usable, and desirable. Testing should collect per...

The User-centered design (UCD) process outlines the phases throughout a design and development life-cycle all while focusing on gaining a deep understanding of who will be using the product. The international standard 13407  is the basis for many U...

Contextual inquiry is a semi-structured interview method to obtain information about the context of use, where users are first asked a set of standard questions and then observed and questioned while they work in their own environments. Four pri...

Scenarios describe the stories and context behind why a specific user or user group comes to your site.  They note the goals and questions to be achieved and sometimes define the possibilities of how the user(s) can achieve them on the site. A ...

Research to evaluate the usability and learnability of your competitors’ products This complements traditional marketing strategies and business audits by considering the social, economic, and technical context. It allows design teams to ...

Design ethnography is ethnographic qualitative research set within a design context. It delivers results that inform and inspire design processes, for instance service design processes. It offers reference material about people's everyday life; thei...

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