Research for Design

Human-Centred Design is a process that begins with investigating users, their needs, and the systems around them. Research is an integral part of the process, which helps establish a well-defined problem so that you can design the right solution. And good research requires curiosity, open-mindedness and an eye for what’s going on in the world around.

This course explores how to do research and how to implement it in your design process.

There are many ways to describe the design process, but one way to look at it is that in order to find the right solution you first have to find the right problem. Defining the problem means asking questions like what are the motives or behaviours of the people you are designing for and what is the bigger system they are part of? Once you have the right problem, you can design the right solution.

The Delft design process thrives on research: research with users, research into the social-technical ecosystems they are part of, research into usability and into materials. Learn how to define the right research questions, how to analyse the findings or data and how to use that in your design process. Explore different research techniques like interviewing, observing and using questionnaires. Then put knowledge into practice working in a studio on research from the Delft Design Labs.

Learning about research is useful in all design projects and prepares you for becoming a Delft designer.

Course Coordinator's perspective

“In this course we want to spark students' enthusiasm for research and help them see the value of research driven design. And we aim to make students aware and proud about being a Delft designer because research is what sets us apart.”

Marijke Melles

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