design

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

I had the privilege to work under Roger Martin when I worked at the Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity. Roger’s got much to say about innovation, and I find his take to generally reinforce the “qualitative lens” Copernicus takes to its projects. Roger recently wrote for Harvard Business Review that companies don’t get growth from [...]

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Categories: Blog · anthropology · design · ethnography · home · market research

Two of us at Copernicus (Sarah and I) are working on a project, funded through Ryerson University, on smartphone usage. One of the key findings we’ve uncovered so far is that people tend to adopt new communication channels (e.g., text) when they purchase new handsets. This new handset/life change correlation is a symbolic ritual that [...]

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Categories: Blog · anthropology · culture · design · ethnography · home · market research · mobile · product design · qualitative research · sociology · technology design

I’m thrilled to be managing a research project on mobile technology use through a fellowship at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. I’ve assembled a research team and we have started initial research. Our “ethnographic stretching” exercise lead to some interesting insights:
“Attachment Paradox”: More than one person we talked to said that [...]

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Categories: Blog · anthropology · culture · design · ethnography · home · market research · mobile · product design · qualitative research · sociology

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