Design Research: Moving Beyond Surveys

Design research is another way to empower people to share their stories and experiences with you. It's your job to find the patterns in those stories and to synthesize those patterns into actionable insights. It's easier to get people to talk on a deeper level if you use:

- Stickers
- Co-design methods
- & Ice cream sessions

That's the fun stuff, but we'll also cover generative research methods (such as Contextual Inquiries) and evaluative research methods (such as Think-Aloud Usability Testing). We'll also discuss how these methods of inquiry can be combined with Metrics and Evaluation techniques that go beyond surveys to make sure you're having the impact you want to be having in the world.

You'll leave with a toolkit, an approach to design research that fits into your current process, some tried-and-true methods, and a way to create research plans for maximum effectiveness.

Open and welcome to all levels of designers, social entrepreneurs, radical pedagogists, and non-profit professionals who are interested in improving the feedback loop with the people they serve.


I heart design research. I graduated from the Interaction Design and Social Entrepreneurship program at the Austin Center for Design, and have been working as a service and UX designer in the social innovation space. My methods draw from my experiences as a teaching artist, writer, and journalist.


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Aspire to inspire from the heart of Austin, Texas