You don’t know enough about people. People grow and change constantly, impacted by the cultures they create and the global systems that surround them. Conducting People Research is an opportunity for students and professionals in creative, technical and business fields to understand people and use that understanding to drive better outcomes. People Research is for anyone whose work is dependent on people as customers or constituents. It leverages the expertise of the humanities to drive innovation and value across industries.
People Research starts with a mindset shift: get ready to ask questions and admit to what you don’t know about people, or where you’ve been just guessing. By developing an inquiry, working with some basic tools and engaging with people you will quickly gain insight about the situations they experience and identify new opportunities, setting direction for the future.
This book is a guide to succeeding at People Research. Presented here is a basic framework for conducting research with people to inform design. This framework is focused on describing key decision points and thinking cues in the planning, engagement, analysis and sharing of research. But this book doesn’t simply describe a process; it’s a handbook that includes worksheets, tools and tips for people who plan to actually conduct people research for work or school. Throughout the book, readers can follow a sample project undertaken by a fictional team conducting research, creating insights and finding some new product opportunities their company is positioned to fill.
By doing research thoroughly and well, you position yourself and your organization to derive value from the effort and leverage it to make the right things, in ways that serve people. This is a practical, hands-on guide that you will refer to again and again as you build experiences doing your own People Research.