Date: May 5, 2010
Rick Robinson — Independent Consultant

Rick RobinsonDesigners are now paying more attention to users, but is that enough?  The most widely accepted purpose of design research is to inform the work of design, or to provide a basis from which the work of design, development, and strategy can proceed.  But what we need from research is more than description and more than a list of “needs,” explicit or implicit, met or unmet.  We need a way to clearly articulate the values that inform our decisions, and a basis on which to do so.

In his presentation, Rick will show how to move beyond a mere scan of current conditions and look at ways research can better inform the design process.  He will also discuss how design research can be improved by establishing a more solid value system from which design researchers can operate.

About Rick Robinson
Rick Robinson is an interdisciplinary social scientist with a Ph.D. in human development from the University of Chicago.  He was a co-founder of E-Lab, a research and design consultancy, and then Chief Experience Officer at Sapient.  Both firms were pioneers in the development and application of ethnographic and observational research approaches for clients such as BMW, Ford Motor, General Mills, General Motors, McDonald’s, Sony, and Warner-Lambert.  He is the co-author of The Art of Seeing, as well as numerous articles on design and research.  He currently works as an independent consultant.

The CHIFOO presentation was based on his work in progress, “Good Work in Design Work: Values, Process, and Understanding.” Visit his web site for more details and presentation notes.