Tales of Design Research

Mar 21, 2019 @ 7 p.m. in San Francisco

Design research has been around for ages in one form or another, but is now gaining recognition as a cornerstone of the design profession. Design research enables us to learn what users really think, and connect with problems that we may not personally experience as creatives. In this session of Designers + Geeks, we'll look at design research in different forms and industries, from traditional to emerging fields.

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Rami Alayan
User Experience Designer at IBM

Reading Design Works: Tips from Cinema

Much of the psychological and cognitive bases for the choices made by filmmakers in staging their film scenes are the same for the choices made by designers when creating visual user interfaces. This is simply because both filmmakers and designers create their works for fellow humans as audience.

In every film scene, filmmakers make conscious choices about a wide range of visual elements that help convey to the audience the story, mood and psychology of the characters. They make choices to manipulate the audience’s emotions and direct their attention to dramatically relevant content. Film analysis provides a framework for observing and interpreting the choices made by filmmakers and deriving a reading of the film, its story and the director’s intent or vision. A similar framework is proposed in this talk for observing and interpreting the choices made by designers and deriving a reading of their design intent. What language emerges from the elements of a design and what does it communicate consciously and subconsciously to a potential user about an interface, its purpose and how to use it?

Rami Alayan is a UX designer, screenwriter and independent producer. He leads the development and rollout of standardized design evaluation and review processes across IBM's Hybrid Cloud Design organization. His research curiosities include the development of design techniques inspired from cinema and visual storytelling as well as the application of UX design techniques to story development for film and digital media. In 2018, he was awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Hivos Tiger Competition of International Film Festival Rotterdam for his screenplay of The Reports on Sarah and Saleem which won the Grand Jury Prize at Seattle International Film Festival, the Best Feature Film at Durban International Film Festival and several audience awards.

Stefanie Hutka, PhD
Experience Researcher, Adobe Design Research & Strategy Team

Where no user has gone before: The voyages of conducting augmented reality UX research.

In this talk, Stefanie will share her research approach to conducting UX research for augmented reality (AR) tools. How do you get started, defining target users in a new space? How do you begin to figure out what unmet needs an AR tool can address? Where might AR fit within a user’s workflow? Stefanie will discuss how she addressed each of these questions and more, leveraging her background in perception and cognition, her past experience studying industrial AR hardware and software users, and current work on Project Aero, Adobe’s AR authoring tool.

Stefanie Hutka is an Experience Researcher at Adobe in San Francisco. She is part of the Adobe Design Research and Strategy team, focusing on Adobe’s immersive media initiatives, such as AR and 3D. Prior to Adobe, Stefanie spent two years at an LA-based AR company, DAQRI, where she established their user research program. Prior to DAQRI, she completed her PhD in Psychology at the University of Toronto, specializing in auditory cognitive neuroscience. Stefanie also has a diploma in violin performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music – a background which was the impetus for studying human perception and cognition.

Kristina Phillips & Sally Darby
Senior Strategists at frog design

Designing with Numbers and Feelings

We aspire to design products, services and experiences that people love unconditionally. To do this, we must build empathy for the users as they are, understanding what they think, feel and need. At frog design, we take advantage of every research technique and methodology we can find, regularly blending quantitative and qualitative approaches to uncover new insights and inform our design decisions. Join us to learn about the different ways we combine research methods throughout the design process to build and ship stuff people love.

Kristina Phillips is a strategist, researcher and brand-builder at frog. She has over a decade of experience bringing truly life-changing products and services to market, from white-space identification and concepting to campaign management and analysis. Kristina spends her time making sense of data and people to tell a compelling story. Her research experience spans the globe and industries, bringing her to Japan to observe teenagers’ relationship with makeup, and traveling across America to understand workplace collaboration behaviors. Bring on the ambiguity.

Sally Darby is a senior strategist at frog design, where she enjoys working with teams to design new products, services, and experiences that people love. Sally is particularly passionate about user research. From conducting one-on-one interviews in the homes of medical patients, to designing large scale surveys for enterprise clients, she enjoys finding creative ways to blend quantitative and qualitative research methods to uncover rich and actionable insights for frog’s clients.