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Design Research is both an art and a science. Copernicus writes this blog as a communal space for exploring Design Research as a method and a topic.

I am not a designer. I do not claim to be. Sure, I’ve done a few wire frames in my life (no, I will not provide screenshots). I even found myself designing a logo once. Here was someone who almost failed Art in Grade 8, who had never taken a design course in any [...]

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Categories: Blog · Popular · Research Methods · design · sociology

Personas are a useful tool for both designers and marketers. When done well, they bring to life real people with real needs and values. They can help us make our products and messages intelligible, resonant, and meaningful.
Unfortunately, this is not what usually happens.
As Steve Portigal has warned, personas are frequently done poorly. They are flat, [...]

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Categories: Blog · culture · design · home · personas · product design

Using traditional segmentation and “variable-driven” view of the world sometimes fails. This is the story of that sort of failure.
The other day my streetcar drove past a McDonald’s. The parking lot was jammed. Searching in vain for a parking spot was someone driving a…Maserati. A what? I did a double-take. My researcher’s mind couldn’t [...]

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Categories: Blog · bourdieu · class · culture · ethnography · luxury goods · qualitative research · quantitative research

The interview guide is not as important a document as most people think. Most if not all qualitative research would be improved if researchers stopped focusing on the guide, and focused more on the research questions.
Many qualitative researchers have had this very same experience: the client wants to add too many questions focusing too narrowly [...]

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Categories: Blog · Research Methods · brand · ethnography · market research · methods · qualitative research

I recently spoke about ethnography at the Market Research Intelligence Association’s conference. Below are the original slides from my presentation.
Of course, the in-person experience is so much better, so here’s a run-down of the big ideas:

Ethnography is about immersing oneself in a “foreign” context
You do ethnography to really understand your customers, from their own perspective
Good [...]

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Categories: Blog · culture · ethnography

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