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The Pocket Universal Methods of Design by Bella Martin, Bruce Hanington

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039 Exploratory Research

User and product studies intended to forge an empathic knowledge base

• Conducted in the early stages of the design process and set by the planning, scoping, and definition phase.

• The focus is on gaining a solid knowledge base of the design territory and existing artifacts and forging an empathic sense of the people targeted by the design.

• A variety of diverse yet complementary methods might include contextual inquiry, touchstone tours, surveys, observation, experience sampling, and cultural probes.

• Research is purposefully flexible, encouraging divergence from planned protocols and the inclusion of data from spontaneous interactions and observations.

• Synthesis is critical, but targeted toward inspiration rather ...

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