September 19, 2019
REFLECTING ON: An Overview of Research in Graphic Design from A Designer’s Research Manual
Now that I have begun the research process to solve a social issue through design, my perception of the commercial roles of a designer has broadened. A designer’s creative approach to problem-solving is not limited to aesthetics, or even a tangible product or experience. Our creativity can be applied to other crucial parts of product development, like research. When designers understand the human characteristics of users through market research, ethnography, analytics and trend forecasting, business leaders recognize them as assets and will employ them as strategic consultants rather than art vendors. Designers in tune with the research process have a role within the marketplace that is easier for non-designers to validate. Aside from the job security, the research process can actually equip designers to make better aesthetic decisions about a designed artifact that are grounded in user-awareness. The process of designing is no longer passive or “crafty”, it is intentional and direct. Designers aide or alter a user’s experience based on a deep understanding of the user’s behavior and a very explicit goal which the design serves.
This post exists within a series of reflections on topics and coursework from my Human-Centered Design class, taught by Marty Maxwell Lane at the University of Arkansas.