fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Fall Quarter

Fall Quarter Underway
Late-Start Classes
Still Available
shopping cart icon0


« Back to Professional & Personal Development

DSN 106 W — Design Research: Creating New Products and Market Success

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 7 weeks
Date(s): Sep 23—Nov 8
Drop Deadline: Sep 26
Unit: 1
Tuition: $475
Instructor(s): Christopher Ireland
Limit: 45
Status: Closed
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is September 26th at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is October 1st at 5:00 pm (PT).
Sep 23—Nov 8
7 weeks
Drop By
Sep 26
1 Unit
Christopher Ireland
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is September 26th at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is October 1st at 5:00 pm (PT).
When successful companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Nike, and others want to innovate, design research is their first step. By exploring people’s relationship to products, services, programs, and experiences, design research helps define the market, identify potential users, and envision the best product/market fit. Design research helps us see the world through others’ eyes, enabling more empathetic—and more effective—design and product development. It can also uncover novel opportunities or nascent trends before they are evident through other forms of analysis. This course provides an overview of this vast discipline, explaining its benefits and challenges in ways that can be easily understood and applied. Through lectures, exercises, and guest speakers, we will explore the processes, tools, and models used by design researchers. Specifically, students will learn how to construct a design research study from start to finish, including how to identify and frame the problem or opportunity, the role of fieldwork, how to find relevant insights, and how to effectively communicate research-based findings to a business audience.


  • Course sizes are limited.
    You won't have 5,000 classmates. This course's enrollment is capped at 45 participants.

  • Frequent interaction with the instructor.
    You aren't expected to work through the material alone. Instructors will answer questions and interact with students on the discussion board and through weekly video meetings.

  • Study with a vibrant peer group.
    Stanford Continuing Studies courses attract thoughtful and engaged students who take courses for the love of learning. Students in each course will exchange ideas with one another through easy-to-use message boards as well as optional weekly real-time video conferences.

  • Direct feedback from the instructor.
    Instructors will review and offer feedback on assignment submissions. Students are not required to turn in assignments, but for those who do, their work is graded by the instructor.

  • Courses offer the flexibility to participate on your own schedule.
    Course work is completed on a weekly basis when you have the time. You can log in and participate in the class whenever it's convenient for you. If you can’t attend the weekly video meetings, the sessions are always recorded for you and your instructor is just an email away.

  • This course is offered through Stanford Continuing Studies.
    To learn more about the program, visit our About Us page. For more information on the online format, please visit the FAQ page.

This is an introductory course best suited to those students who want to conduct small design research studies or who need to manage or interact with design research projects conducted by others. No previous design research experience is required, but students should have either a design or a business background.

Christopher Ireland, Adjunct Professor, Design, California College of the Arts; Co-Founder, Cheskin; Founder, Mix & Stir Studio

Christopher Ireland is a co-author of Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design and China’s New Culture of Cool. Previously, she was a founding partner and CEO of Cheskin, a consultancy focused on design innovation that supported Microsoft, Intel, PepsiCo, and Apple, among others. Ireland received an MBA from UCLA.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.