Group of people around a table full of papers and post-its and workshop materials.

Sharing research assets, fast and slow

Working with Google in a series of collaborations using design research to support the creation of new services, we’ve co-developed a valuable approach for how research assets can best be shared and deployed to meet the urgent needs posed by a fast-paced agile process, while also capturing and structuring results to create value for the longer term. It can be difficult to document research results in a way that accomplishes both of these aims during an ongoing, iterative design process.

One way to accomplish this is to ensure that our design researchers very regularly meet with the client team to share intermediary results, even if they’re rough and unrefined. This is easier said than done, in part because researchers might be protective of preliminary conclusions before sharing, and in part because the client stakeholders may have to be resourceful to place these unrefined results in the proper context, taking into account the project stage, status of the deliverables, and adjusting their expectations accordingly. This mutual and collaborative process has to be actively managed and encouraged. Google and STBY have both invested considerable time and attention to this, which lead to a highly collaborative spirit and great results.

Another key experience from this agile way of working is that research deliverables, ranging from structured fieldwork documentation, to results that answer specific project questions, to key top-level takeaways, can be identified in terms of their potential shorter and longer-term value. In this regard the fieldwork generates a treasure trove that can be mined for value beyond the project it was created for.

Working in this way helps refine and improve research underway and helps ensure that results that didn’t answer the most immediate needs, remain accessible to create longer-term value.

 

Learning by doing

The best way to learn a new skill or a new way of working is to actually do it. This does not mean however that you have to start from scratch and figure everything out by…

Exploring Remote Teamwork

Over the past decade, as more digital tools have become available for remote collaboration, and more organisations have embraced flexible working, teamworkers…

Global online learning

The Reach Network of professionals in design and innovation has brought its seasoned practitioners from around the world together to create 5 masterclasses on

Exploring listening experiences

Stations, the new app introduced by Spotify in the US, offers a radio-like listening experience for users who don’t tend to curate their own playlists and listen …

Speculative design with MSF

In collaboration with our Indian REACH partner Quicksand, we helped Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) to rethink their role as a global organisation within the future…

Collaborative R&D Labs

What Design Can Do and STBY have recently tried out a new format for bringing professionals together to develop their thinking and practices around complex societal…

Supporting the energy transition

As part of a large scale national program to transition the use of energy in the Netherlands from natural gas to electricity, the Dutch government is eager to learn…