Intro to People-Centred Research

Using design research methods in the field, to develop robust insights and design opportunity spaces; based on real people’s needs and desires

Workshop Dates: April 9–13, 2018

Keywords: user-centred design, design research, people-centred, interviews, research methods, people, analysis, ethnography, insights, users, customers

Description:
This course encompasses a set of methods and interactions with people intended to inspire the process of design. At its core, people-centred research is about helping designers draw inferences about what’s important: the essential elements of the user experience that can drive and inspire solution development. People-centred research is a chance to invite into the design process a set of views and perspectives that designers may have failed to anticipate by considering only their own experiences or values.
People-centred research is a practice that refreshes the designer’s mind. It’s a humble and collaborative activity that helps designers stay more finely tuned to their surroundings and the beliefs and ideas of others. Design researchers are good listeners and synthesizers who open themselves to knowledge and inspiration from unexpected sources.
As key foundations of the people-centred design toolbox, research methods and skills are critical to getting the most out of field work, synthesising insights, and storytelling. This workshop will rapidly explore specific practices, tricks, and methods that designers can use to boost their skills and enhance their project outcomes.
Each day of the course will be a small project in itself that teaches a component on the PCR process. Each day will consist of an introduction lecture, a set exercise, and team work & feedback.This course isn’t focused on creating one project, but rather a series of exercises that teach the key skills of PCR.

Learning expectations:

  • Learn the fundamental tools and methods of people-centred design and develop a process framework for projects.
  • Experience a deep dive into field research techniques, team based analysis, translation from insights to ideas, and storytelling.
  • Experience a myriad of exercises to refine specific skills such as guiding conversations, observing people, thinking on your feet, or building trust.
  • Learn a process that focuses on discovering new design directions, rather than executing them.

Prerequisites:
Participants should have a high level of spoken and written English, and a basic understanding of the people-centred design process.

Faculty
Francesca Desmarais
Adam Little