Designing? How?

This week I was a guest lecturer at the Maastricht University Zuyd as a 2nd examiner for CMD graduates. A very nice experience! One of the students introduced me to a new form of design: Intervention Design. This method is taught by Theo Ploeg, a lecturer at CMD Zuyd. It occurred to me how many types of design methods I’ve encountered lately. Most of the time I use the term User-Centered Design to describe my design method and my work as a designer. “UCD is putting the user central during every part of the design process”, I explain to people who ask about it. Out of curiosity I made a list of the design methods and approaches that came to mind. It is difficult to indicate the difference between an approach, a process and a method. How you are going to do something and the progress are closely linked within the flexible parts of the design practice. But this is what I came up with:

Design Research: Researching the history of design, media theory, semiotics and the role of the designer.
Research for design: Research tools and techniques for the purpose of better design solutions like prototyping, interviewing, personas, flow models and so on.
Research of design: Concerns the design methods that are being used or can be used.
Research through design: Gaining or constructing new knowledge through designing, building and testing in the environment so that people can experience the design within their daily live. Research through design has a focus on fashion, industrial design and architecture.
Social design: Social design in the broadest sense, addresses a social issue. A carefully selected social and political attitude drives the design process. The methods which are used are also social, actively involving the target group or making the design process a form of co-creation. The goal is to design products that solve a social issue.
Service design: the purpose of service design is to improve the infrastructure with regard to the communication and material components of a service by offering the right customer experiences at the right time. A typical tool used by service design is a ‘customer journey map’. A ‘customer journey map’ describes and visualizes the journey, experience and emotions of the customer based on the moments of interaction with the service. These insights enable service designers to realize an optimal customer experience through various channels.
Evidence based design:
Design movement which emphasizes on credible evidence by supporting every design decision by doing research. Evidence based design is originated from healthcare.
Speculative design
: Speculative design serves two distinct purposes: first to enable to think about the future and second to critique current practices: by Auger in Speculative design: crafting the speculation. (http://ellieharmon.com/wp-content/uploads/02-06-Auger_Design-Fictions.pdf)
Critical Design: “Critical Design uses speculative design proposals to challenge narrow assumptions, preconceptions and givens about the role products play in everyday life. It is more of an attitude than anything else, a position rather than a method.”: by Dunne & Raby.
Action research: “… is a disciplined process of inquiry conducted by and for those taking the action. The primary reason for engaging in action research is to assist the “actor” in improving and/or refining his or her actions.”: by Richard Sagor. Important to add is that action research happens in one given setting, in contrast to research for design.
Educational Design Research: “…a genre of research in which the iterative development of practical solutions to complex educational problems also provides the context for empirical investigations that yield theoretical understanding that can inform the work of others.”: by McKenney and Reeves in Conducting Educational Design Research (2012)
Educational Design Research has two goals according to McKenney:
– positive intervention in the real world of today, or maybe tomorrow
– scientific (theoretical) understanding of these interventions that could inform the works of others who are interested in similar kind of issues outside of the design context. This in contrast to Design-Based Research and Instructional Design.
Design-Based Research: “A systematic but flexible methodology aimed to improve educational practices through iterative analysis, design, development, and implementation, based on collaboration among researchers and practitioners in real-world settings, and leading to contextually-sensitive design principles and theories.”: by Wang and Hannafin in Design-Based Research and technology-enhanced learning environments. (2005) (http://www.researchgate.net/publication/225626676_Design-based_research_and_technology-enhanced_learning_environments)
Instructional Design: “Instructional experiences which make the acquisition of knowledge and skill more efficient, effective, and appealing.”: Merrill, Drake, Lacy, Pratt in Reclaiming Instructional Design (http://mdavidmerrill.com/Papers/Reclaiming.PDF)
Participatory Design/Co-Design: A design approach  where all stakeholders (e.g. employees, partners, customers, citizens, end users) are actively involved in the processes and procedures of design to help ensure the result meets their needs.
Persuasive design: Design principles that focus on influencing the decision-making and purchasing behavior of (potential) customers. To accomplish this influence on decision-making several psychological theories on behavioral change are used. For example, from Robert Cialdini (Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University).
Generative design: “Generative design is a design method in which the output – image, sound, architectural models, animation – is generated by a set of rules or an Algorithm, normally by using a computer program. Most generative design is based on parametric modeling. It is a fast method of exploring design possibilities that is used in various design fields such as Art, Architecture, Communication Design, and Product Design.” (Source: Wikipedia)
Intervention design: Goal is to design for the near future: by Theo Ploeg. http://buroneue.net/intervention-design.
intervention-design-presentation-5-4-638
Image: Intervention design by Theo Ploeg

Karin – Filterdesign & University of Applied Science Amsterdam

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