The zeal for design research is fast surging both among early start-ups and grown-up enterprises. This is because businesses have realized that meaningful innovations must always stem from understanding the customer needs. Nevertheless, to get the best out of your design research mission, you must follow these golden rules.
Be willing to learn
Willingness to learn is necessary to gather useful inputs. You must know how to ask good questions that can prompt the responses that will benefit you. Never be anxious about looking less knowledgeable about things.
Know first, prototype later
Usually, product developers tend to rush to prototype and test it. It is dangerous to prototype too soon because it is like investing resources to answer a question that was never asked. Though prototype testing can help you fine tune your idea, it cannot let you know if you are solving a problem.
Define your goals
Design research is a waste of time if you do not know why you are doing so. In your over-enthusiasm to jump into research, you might often start off without ascertaining your goals. Only when you have set your goal, you will understand what you need to know.
List out the big questions in advance
The quality of your questions decides how useful your results can be. Wrong questions will only mean you are trying to prototype a solution to a wrong problem. It is always crucial to start with the high-priority questions.
Learn to work with a mess and imperfection
Human lives are necessarily messy. People have a lot of problems and confusions. When you try to figure out how to solve the problems of people, you must certainly spend some time. You must learn to work with unpredictable conditions successfully which can happen only when you have a clearly defined goal and question.
Be prepared to collaborate
Everyone working on a particular product development must work on the same wavelength. They must have the same shared reality. Those making decisions about the product must be well-informed. The most productive approach to design research indirectly involving the product developers with the research and let them learn useful insights.