Are You A Designer? - Designe Researcher

We always someone say that "I'm a designer." So, you think designers are just designing? Man, things are not that simple. Please allow me to unveal the jobs of designers. Let's start with the beginning of design.

Design researcher.

Designs are made for needs, but, what do the users need? If you want to know that, you have to do a design research. How to do a qualified user research?

User research refers to a variety of ways to get the respondents' suggestions and opinions. The purpose is to provide the related data base for next step of product design. User research can be divided into two kinds based on the contents of the survey, One is product survey: the the investigation and analysis on target users and the competitive products, this is used for determining the direction of design and verify the current point of view. The second is a research of user experience: this often happens in the product testing and post-release process.

If you want to complete a qualified user research, you must make three things right:

1. The right target

Who is your product's target? After the release of the product, whoes interests will be involved in?

For example, you are developing a prototyping tool, like Axure or Mockplus. Well, at least, you have two target groups: Designers and Developing Teams. What's more, depending on the different usage of your product, you must subdivide the groups. Designers can be subdivided into user experience designers, interaction designers, user interface designers, etc. And, the development team can then be differentiated by size.

2. The appropriate form of investigation

There are two types of commonly used forms of investigation: One is staff to users, the other is the other mediato users.

Staff to users refers to the telephone interviews, user interviews and the like. In this way, we can have the specialized staff who has a real-time communication with the users, so the feedback information will be relatively more profound, it is easier to get what is really there in users' mind. But this method is facing the problem of effectiveness. Now the pace of development is very fast, there is not enough time left for all products to be investigated. If you spend too much time here, the follow ups will be in a rush.

If the research can be done by other media, this problem can be sovled relatively good. Questionnaire is one of the other media. In this way, you can face a large number of target users at the same time. It greatly reduces the time cost. But this method also has its drawbacks. The first one is his limitations. Because the contents of the questionnaire are often multiple choices questions, from a certain point of view they do limit the users' ideas. The second one is the quality of the survey results, we cannot rule out a considerable part of the users is filling in the situation casually.

3. Clear investigation content

How many valid content will be received? That mostly depend on the quality of the content. The content needs to be easy to understand and the questions need to be straight. No thing shall be vague. Whether it is on the designer or the users, things those are vague in the research are wastes of time. And, it will easily annoy the users, then decline the quality of this research.

So, those are some basic works of a design researcher, there are much more to do if you're a real researcher.

In the next article, we will talk about the works of a "Marketing designer".

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