Research for Design
SeaLegs: A Design of
CITY, ZEN, SHIP
10 weeks, 2019 Winter
DMGT 710-01 Prof. Mauricio Manhaes
This project, emphasizes the research process, shows how design researchers achieve design opportunities from the abstract, using multiple research methods and prototyping tools, especially the researches which produce instrumental data.
Research starts from exploring the common understanding of "CITY", "ZEN", "SHIP" separately, ends with an entire human memory basin
of "CITY, ZEN, SHIP". The team grasps the "deepest memories" in the basin for constructing the final design - SeaLegs.
Research Lead & Information Designer
Design Research: Structure human-centered research and lead the team to analyze raw data and develop insights.
Data Visualization: Transform data and numbers into a graphic presentation that enlightens, inspires and captivates.
Graphic Design: Create a process book and presentations to document in an engaging and inspiring way
RESEARCH (1st Round)
Explore Concepts and Inspire Questions
Interview (10 participants)
The interview aims to understand what people think about "CITY", "ZEN", "SHIP". It can help us to understand the abstract topic and narrow down the scope of the following research.
What does “City” mean for you?
What does “Zen” mean for you?
What does “Ship” mean for you?
Human's understanding of "CITY", "ZEN", "SHIP" is around TEN categories:
Raw Data (Keywords):
RESEARCH (2nd Round)
Deeply Understand the definition of "CITY", "ZEN", "SHIP"
01 - Secondary Research
90 Articles: 45 Academic + 45 Non-academic
30 Articles for Each Word: 15 Academic + 15 Non-academic
Data Collection: Secondary research broadens the limited categories getting from the first round research. We try to explore more ideas by searching "word + category" in Google Scholar and select the top1 article every time.
city + perception of environment, city+ infrastructure...
zen + perception of environment, zen + infrastructure...
ship + perception of environment, ship + infrastructure...
Data Analysis: Word frequency study is a good way to grasp the main ideas in each article. We choose top10 words in each article and combine all the top words to create the word lists of "CITY", "ZEN", "SHIP" respectively.
Word Frequency Study with Credit Evaluation System
Top 20 Word of "CITY", "ZEN", "SHIP"
02 - Survey
37 Responses for “City”, 33 for “Zen”, and 26 for “Ship”
The survey aims to delete bais. In the first round research, people can see "CITY", "ZEN", "SHIP" together so that they unconsciously link these words to give responses. Therefore, we separately create surveys for three words in Google Form and send to different people.
Meanwhile, we let people share an experience or a story about "CITY", "ZEN" or "SHIP". Compared with describing the meaning of the word, experience and story can inspire people more ideas and give us more data.
Top 16 Word of "CITY", "ZEN", "SHIP"
03 - Data Selection
These words contribute to building the definition of "CITY", "ZEN", "SHIP". This definition can help us to explore the connections in the next stage.
RESEARCH (3rd Round)
Explore the connections between "CITY", "ZEN", "SHIP"
and establish memory basin of "CITY, ZEN, SHIP"
Survey (33 responses)
This survey focuses on understanding how people connect keywords from the last stage. We put keywords about "CITY" in category A, "ZEN" in category B, "SHIP" in category C. People choose two words from each category and create a scenario.
Memory Basin of CITY, ZEN, SHIP
Figure out design opportunity by creating a complete story which includes problem & solution (conflict & solution)
Workshop (18 participants)
Face to face communication can create a dynamic atmosphere that motivates participants to share more ideas and engages them in the ideation process.
We try multiple methods to analyze data, but most of them have crucial drawbacks.
Finally, we decide to go back to the original 36 stories and get instrumental data by word frequency study.
Initial Design Concept
The team creates an initial narrative based on the words in frequency study.
Responses to the Narrative
“Someone looking for people to sail with.”
“It sounds like Uber, but for boats.”
“It reminds me of the Navy.”