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Just Enough Research

Book Description


Design research is a hard slog that takes years to learn and time away from the real work of design, right? Wrong.

Good research is about asking more and better questions, and thinking critically about the answers. It’s something every member of your team can and should do, and which everyone can learn, quickly. And done well, it will save you time and money by reducing unknowns and creating a solid foundation to build the right thing, in the most effective way.

In Just Enough Research, co-founder of Mule Design Erika Hall distills her experience into a brief cookbook of research methods. Learn how to discover your competitive advantages, spot your own blind spots and biases, understand and harness your findings, and why you should never, ever hold a focus group. You’ll start doing good research faster than you can plan your next pitch.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. More from the a Book Apart Library
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Foreword
  6. 1. Enough Is Enough
    1. Enough!
    2. Risk and Innovation
    3. What Research Is
    4. What Research Is Not
    5. Why this Book
  7. 2. The Basics
    1. Who Should do Research? Everyone!
    2. Overcoming Objections
    3. Research in any Situation
    4. Just Enough Rigor
    5. Best Practices
    6. How Much Research is Enough?
  8. 3. The Process
    1. 1. Define the Problem
    2. 2. Select the Approach
    3. 3. Plan and Prepare for the Research
    4. 4. Collect the Data
    5. 5. Analyze the Data
    6. 6. Report the Results
    7. And Repeat
  9. 4. Organizational Research
    1. Put an MBA Out of Work
    2. Who are Stakeholders?
    3. Interviewing Stakeholders
    4. What to do with Stakeholder Analysis
  10. 5. User Research
    1. Everything in context
    2. Assumptions Are Insults
    3. Getting Good Data from Imperfect Sources
    4. What is Ethnography?
    5. The Four Ds of Design Ethnography
    6. Interviewing Humans
    7. Contextual Inquiry
    8. Focus Groups: Just Say No
    9. The Talking (And Watching) Cure
  11. 6. Competitive Research
    1. Swot Analysis
    2. Competitive Audit
    3. Brand Audit
    4. Usability-Testing the Competition
    5. A Niche in Time
  12. 7. Evaluative Research
    1. Heuristic Analysis
    2. Usability Testing
  13. 8. Analysis and Models
    1. Affinity Diagram
    2. Creating Personas
    3. Mental Models
    4. Task Analysis/Workflow
    5. Model Management
  14. 9. Quantitative Research
    1. I was promised there would be no math
    2. Designers and Data Junkies Can Be Friends
  15. Conclusion
  16. Resources
    1. Websites and blogs
    2. A few specifics
    3. Further reading
    4. Research tools
  17. References
    1. Chapter 1
    2. Chapter 2
    3. Chapter 3
    4. Chapter 4
    5. Chapter 5
    6. Chapter 6
    7. Chapter 7
    8. Chapter 8
    9. Chapter 9
    10. Resources
  18. Not Enough Thanks
  19. Index
  20. About a Book Apart
  21. Colophon
  22. About the Author