Being known as a world-class specialist in Design Research (short for ‘design-led customer research’), many of our clients have asked us to deliver this kind of research on an international scale. Rather than developing this as an in-house service, we have initiated a global network with other specialists in design research around the world. These are small companies like STBY with a proven track record and working with highly senior staff. This way we can guarantee a very high quality of local data collection and collaborative insight generation. In our experience this is far better way of conducting international research than travelling to the international sites ourselves and do interviews through local translators and freelance researchers.
The international network we have set up in 2008 is called ‘REACH – the global design research network’. The network currently consists of 12 members companies, covering 12 countries around the world. We expect the network to further expand over the coming years. See the Reach website for all the details: www.globaldesignresearch.com
The Design Research we do through the network can be described as a combination of two approaches:
Understanding people’s practices to drive innovation
Understanding the people and situations you design for is crucial for successful innovation. These insights only come from spending time with your customers, and developing empathic conversations with them. When presented in an inspiring, visual way such insights are a strong driver of innovation.
Bringing design skills into customer research
Design skills such as generating, modeling and prototyping new ideas are crucial for successful innovation. If these skills are already used in immersive field work and insight creation, the resulting innovative ideas are rooted strongly in the markets your company innovates for.