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 wouldnâ€™t have taken much design research to learn how important it is to U.S. car buyers. The manufacturers, forced to retroï¬t, created some of the most complex, expensive, unreliable and least user-friendly cup holders ever produced. Design research ï¬ndings are not typically assembled in the form of data and reports but are instead stories and characters, often captured on video. Such ï¬ndings 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