Skipping Design Research Can Be Costly

Skipping design research can be costly. For example, high-end German automobile manufacturers were stunned when U.S. customers would not buy cars without cup holders. While drinking coffee in the car seemed unthinkable to Europeans, it wouldn’t have taken much design research to learn how important it is to U.S. car buyers. The manufacturers, forced to retrofit, created some of the most complex, expensive, unreliable and least user-friendly cup holders ever produced. Design research findings are not typically assembled in the form of data and reports but are instead stories and characters, often captured on video. Such findings resemble and evoke real experience more powerfully than data and reports can, vividly conveying the desired emotional connections between people, products and services, and they help a company to triangulate these findings with appropriate technologies and economic objectives.

Source: The Evolution of the Design-Inspired Enterprise | Gabriella Lojacono, Gianfranco Zaccai | Rotman Magazine, Winter 2005

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