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

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Flex Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Sep 21—Nov 13
Drop Deadline: Sep 24
Unit: 1
Tuition: $525
Instructor(s): Christopher Ireland
Limit: 45
Status: Closed
Please Note: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Flex Online(About Formats)
Sep 21—Nov 13
8 weeks
Drop By
Sep 24
1 Unit
Christopher Ireland
Please Note: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
When successful companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, Nike, and others want to innovate, design research is one of their first steps. 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 become evident through other forms of analysis. The 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.

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.