Fine-tuning user research to drive innovation

An important area of research, but still under-valued, under-developed, and under-practiced.

“User research that attempts to discover market-changing innovations faces many challenges. The more ambitious the innovation goal, the more difficult it can be to decide whom to study, what to look for, and how to make sense of the findings. Our reflections here are based on our experience collaborating on an ambitious project, in which we conducted in-depth contextual research with 54 people in eight enterprises. Its mission was to generate concepts for innovative solutions that would engage a large, new audience whose needs were not being addressed by existing products. In many respects, this was a dream project for researchers who wanted to introduce user-centered design into the product development process as early as possible.”

(David Siegel, Alex Sorin, Michael Thompson, and Susan Dray ~ Interactions Magazine sept/oct 2013)

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