Full-Day Workshop

Inspiring Better Design Through Research-in-Context

February 5, 2017 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Location: SVA 136 – 5th Floor, 517F

Many design teams understand the importance of listening to their customers. But often, this gets relegated to remote or lab-based interviews, creating distance between the team and the world they’re designing within.

Heading out into the real world can improve comprehension, facilitate empathy, and inspire better design. The way people interact with technology, systems and services is becoming increasingly contextual, and experiencing that context is becoming an indispensible part of the design process.

In this workshop, we’ll outline the benefits of immersive research, and introduce a range of methods for bringing your team out into the real world. These include observation, contextual inquiry, first-hand experiences, analogous empathy, and design-in-situ. More than just ‘ethnography 101’, we will provide participants with a holistic framework for bringing context into their design process.

Following this introduction, we’ll take to the streets of New York to gain first-hand experience of what it’s like to solve a design problem in context.

This hands-on experience will feed into an exploration of how you can take the above techniques and apply them to your own work — whether your goal is to inspire yourself, a wider design team, or business stakeholders.

Participant takeaways:

  • Understanding the value of conducting immersive research, and how to communicate this to others in a way that makes them want to get involved.
  • Methodology for planning immersive research and incorporating it into the design process.
  • Real experience through participation in immersive research, including a selection of fieldwork methods that can be used to gain empathy and inspire design.


SVA 136 – Fifth Floor
136 W 21st Street, New York, NY 10011