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Research for Designers

Research for Designers
A Guide to Methods and Practice

Second Edition

March 2022 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Design is everywhere. It influences how we live, what we wear, how we communicate, what we buy, and how we behave.

To design for the real world and define strategies rather than just implement them, you need to learn how to understand and solve complex, intricate and often unexpected problems. Research for Designers is the guide to this new, evidence-based creative process for anyone doing research in Design Studies or looking to develop their design research skills.

The book:

  • Takes an organized approach to walking you through the basics of research.
  • Highlights the importance of data.
  • Encourages you to think in a cross-disciplinary way.

Including interviews with 10 design experts from across the globe, this guide helps you put theory into practice and conduct successful design research.

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Human-Centred Design
Chapter 3: Design as Practice, Research and Thinking
Chapter 4: Research Essentials
Chapter 5: Ethnographic Research
Chapter 6: Qualitative Research
Chapter 7: Quantitative Research
Chapter 8: Visual Research
Chapter 9: Applied Research
Chapter 10: Presenting your Research
Chapter 11: Conclusion

Today, designers design services, processes and organizations; craft skills no longer suffice. We need to discover, define and solve problems based upon evidence. We need to demonstrate the validity of our claims. We need design research, but as a special kind of research, with methods appropriate to the applied, constructive nature of design. We need a book on research for designers that can educate students and be a reference for professionals. And here it is: Gjoko Muratovski’s masterful book for 21st century designers.

Don Norman
Director of the Design Lab, University of California, San Diego and former Vice President: Advanced Technology at Apple

Design can be a powerful tool for social, economic, and cultural change. It can serve as a guide to grow economic and industrial success, along with breaking down long-term social norms and cultural barriers. This book provides a great learning reference on the basics of research.

It is well written, easy to understand, and provides guidance on research methodology which can be very valuable to all researchers, and not only those specifically in the design profession. Along with a well-organized approach to research, Muratovski also encourages crossdisciplinary partnerships and highlights the importance of data. Both of these are essential to learning, analysing, and developing design solutions which can contribute to improvements in quality of life.

David Kusuma
President-Elect 2019-2021, World Design Organization and Vice President: Global R&D at Tupperware Brands Corporation

Inspiring and engaging. Gjoko Muratovski gives us a visionary preview on the future of design. He argues that design is transforming from ‘problem-solving’ to ‘problem-finding’ – something every company, from startups to multinationals, needs in today’s hyper-connected and fast-changing world. Muratovski provides the context and more importantly, the implications of the rise of design as a powerful competitive advantage.

If you want to know more about the role of design in the past, present and where design is headed, start here. If you’ve ever wanted to become a ‘design-driven’ company, read this book.

David R. Butler
Vice President: Innovation & Entrepreneurship at The Coca-Cola Company

Today, as designers, we are exploring a new vision; a vision that seeks to apply creativity to challenges of our age, namely digital technology and information. The designer of today is involved with designing experiences, not just looks and appearances. Gjoko Muratovski’s Research for Designers gives the reader a pair of wings to transcend limitation and do original work.

Suresh Sethi
Vice President: Global Consumer Design (South Asia) at Whirlpool Corporation

Research for Designers clearly explains how effective cross-disciplinary discovery and delivery of strategic solutions to complex problems needs to begin with targeted and credible research of the problem area, the ecosystem, the context, and the stakeholders involved.

While the book provides a great overview for designers that are interested in learning about research methods and how to use them, the book is also useful to strategists and decision-makers as it can expand their problem-solving toolkit to incorporate design research and practice in the pursuit of new, original and better outcomes. This is an excellent resource for both students and developing design practitioners.

Jane Treadwell
Practice Manager: Governance Systems at The World Bank Group and Advisor at the Clinton Foundation Climate Initiative

Gjoko Muratovski has written the definitive compendium that not only covers ‘how’ to best conduct design research but ‘why’ it is such a vital ingredient to success. Although intended for design students, I believe Muratovski’s manual offers a far broader appeal. Strategists, business leaders, policy makers, anyone who wants to enhance and advance their research proficiency to achieve a better outcome should read this book. I know I’ll be sharing copies with my colleagues.

Maureen Thurston
Corporate Strategy Executive and Principal: Design Leverage at Deloitte (Australia)

Research for Designers is a welcome contribution to the world of design academia as it discusses methods for carrying out systematic design research. This book allows the reader to choose methods for design research according to different types of design problems and not only for the different stages of the design process. In this respect, this will be useful not only to postgraduate students and academics engaged in serious design research, but also to practicing designers dealing with large-scale, complex and cross-disciplinary design problems.

Kun-Pyo Lee
President at International Association of Societies of Design Research and Former Executive Vice President / Head of Corporate Design Centre at LG Electronics

Design’s importance in social, cultural and economic terms has never been greater. So, it’s a surprise that the design research community has waited so long for an authoritative and comprehensive handbook on research methods which further our understanding and knowledge of the process of designing. Research for Designers fills this gap in the literature. There’s no doubt it will become a seminal reference for those seeking to undertake research in the field.

Seymour Roworth-Stokes
Chair at the Design Research Society and Dean of the School of Art and Humanities at Coventry University

Research for Designers explores design research based on a panorama of the evolution of design. It is a useful book for designers, educators and researchers. It is also a meaningful book, as it opens the window for enriching and improving the rationalities between design and a possible better world. While facing a new era of design activism, a new culture of knowledge creation should be involved as part of the agenda. Gjoko Muratovski’s work makes a concrete step forward.

Yongqi Lou
Dean of the College of Design and Innovation at Tongji University and Vice President at CUMULUS

Flexible production technology and new business models enable companies to make almost anything. The unintended consequences include consumers confused by too many choices and managers not knowing what to make. Design offers new ways for executives to understand and fulfil people’s needs and aspirations; however, the informality of design knowledge prevents design operating at the speed and scale that is needed. Research for Designers is a major contribution to giving structure to design knowledge. This book will help companies succeed by helping people have better lives.

Patrick Whitney
Steelcase/Robert C Pew Professor and Dean of the IIT Institute of Design

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