As the Senior Research Inoventor at Inovent, Inc, one of the things that I impose upon myself is to become an expert in the design research processes. This means I have to constantly learn and improve the ways our designers understand, dissect, and tackle the hardest projects that are given to us. And with each project being unique in its context and stakeholders, I think having a plethora of research methods can be invaluable in constantly being able to push the boundaries of what’s possible.

I’d like to share a few methods that I’ve stumbled upon. The first one is the infamous IDEO‘s Method Cards – a deck of 51 cards categorized into four groups “Ask, Watch, Learn, Try”. Each card represents a method that a design team can do to help understand the people they are designing for.  You can learn more about the cards here or order your own set here.

And since it's creation in 2002, these method cards have been used by designers and consulting firms all over the world to spark innovation.

Another concept from IDEO’s Managing Partner and Creative Director, Jane Fulton Suri, is what she coins “Thoughtless Acts”. These are basically observations of how people unconsciously react and behave to the environment around them. People tend to create instant solutions out of what’s available, and for the observant eye, these are invaluable sources of design insights. Check out some sample photos from Jane Suri’s book below.

Notice how we create additional functionality for items, like sunglasses acting as a headband. Personally, I use a book as a platform for a hot laptop

Color and lines always give us more focus and direction

People will always find a way to solve a problem

Finally, here’s a very funny exercise done by Smart Design called “The Breakup Letter”. The objective is to understand the emotional connection between people and their products/brands/services. Each participant is given 15 minutes to write a breakup letter and will share it to the group. Check out the video below for some really witty stories.

Smart Design: The Breakup Letter from Smart Design on Vimeo.

Alright, that’s it for my first official post! Hope I can do this on a regular basis!

Thanks for dropping by!

After a year now in Inovent, I think I have a better understanding now of Design and how I can contribute to it.

So with that, out with the old and in with the new!

I’m starting this blog over from scratch. Let’s see where this takes me!


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