What we need from research is more than description, and especially, more than a list of “needs,” explicit or implicit, met or unmet.
This is from Rick Robinson‘s talk at IIT Design Research Conference 2010, very recently made available online as a video on Vimeo. I listened to it one first time while writing but I will strive to go for it a second time with more attention.
Among other things, Robinson argues against the point made by Donald Norman in a much debated post and following article on Interactions, in which he said that ethnography-inspired design research quest for “unmet needs” can not provide a basis for breakthrough innovations, which are rather a result of technology invention (Norman added also that still design research has a key role in improving innovative products, making them usable and enjoyable).
One of the key points of Robinson is that actually “needs”, and hence uncovering “unmet needs” is not or it shouldn’t be the main business of design researchers; instead, they should focus on the values that inform design decisions.
Now, it is interesting to note that at the end of the talk Norman himself stood up and expressed his praise for Robinson, saying that he was not in agreement 🙂 about their disagreement (and asking for one of the t-shirts exhibited by Robinson, namely the one with the “against needs” slogan).
RTM-Remember the Milk has published the results of their Mobile Survey, addressed to the RTM users’ base. With 3.300 respondents recruited only through RTM and no incentives I think that this is an original and very interesting piece of research even beyond the scope of mobile RTM evolution (I joined the survey too as an RTM pro (!) user).
See here the table concerning the question cited in the post title, one of general interest.
A previous question on the mobile OS currently in use has Apple first and Google second. So, the very short brutal synthesis about mobile OS evolution could be:
iPhone first and Android second, the rest is just fragmentation;
then, Android first and iPhone second, same as above, that’s it.
Successfully completed a focus groups study in the Milano area as the Italian partner of Idean (Finland), involving end-users, employees and customers of a global manufacturer with a local site; the study was about a new product key feature at the prototype stage and was part of a bigger international research plan. All the details are strictly confidential.
Performed activities included:
recruiting of two end-user groups according to specified criteria;
conduction of four focus groups;
video-recording of all the sessions;
raw material analysis and results reporting.
The study has been successfully completed in an extremely short timeframe, taking advantage of recruiting quality and parallel streams of work. Adriano Solidoro of Università Bicocca cooperated with me on the assignment.
Digital, technology, UX, design research. Reviews. Some Philosophy here and there.