In the words of Brenda Laurel, research makes design a "more muscular profession."  Design research provides the details that define the problem structure: whom a product is for, what purpose it serves, where it fits in a given context, when it is necessary, and why it is preferable. Formative contextual research provides the starting point for developing a solution. But design research is a messy domain, with data coming from all directions, in all forms, and in all levels of fidelity. The data derives from a wealth of different research methodsinterviews, ethnography, latent video capture, and participatory design…
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