Design Systems Thinking Post 2

For this week’s post I read a portion of Visual Research that focused on the methodology of design thinking.

I love this visual of the research process. You start with a problem and you come full circle once you resolve it, but only after you go through many steps of researching.

I love this visual of the research process. You start with a problem and you come full circle once you resolve it, but only after you go through many steps of researching.

As you can see, the obvious first step in any design process is defining your problem. You can’t successfully design something if you don’t have anything to achieve. Knowing what you need to solve is a critical part of design. The text suggests that once you receive your project brief, you can break it up into three different areas to investigate: a field of study, a project focus, and a research methodology.

  1. Field of study: This is looking at who your broad audience is. “Where will the work be situated and what function will it fulfill?” This means that as a designer, you have to make yourself familiar with what already exists in the field. Consider both the external and internal positions that the work will take on and the target audience you are hoping to speak in to. In most cases sophisticated visual languages already exist and it is critical to become familiar with their vocabulary.
  2. The project focus: “What will the specific context and function of the work be within the wider field of study already defined?” At this step, you take what you’ve collected from your field of study research and you continue to narrow your focus for what will best serve your specific project.
  3. Research methodology: “How will the designer go about researching and developing the project in response to the context and intention outlined above?” A designer’s research methodology is simply giving themselves a set of rules to follow in order to get the outcome they desire. You should give yourself deadlines and goals to meet and begin to experiment and prototype your designs.

Works Cited: Noble, Ian, and Russell Bestley. Visual Research: An Introduction to Research Methodologies in Graphic Design. Lausanne: AVA, 2005. Print.

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