Digital Culture Improving Service

The Importance of Research

Service Design Research for Servicios Legales de Puerto Rico and UX/UI Research for Scuba Dog Society
talking bubble azulDesign Led Research, 2020
We designed and implemented contextual research for two different non profit clients.
talking bubble amarillo

In 2020, two jobs concerning inquiries led by design were done. The first one was for Servicios Legales de Puerto Rico (SLPR) and was focused on Service Design. The second one was for Scuba Dog Society, and it was focused on UX/UI Design (User Experiences and User Interface).

Design Led Research is a “methodology that integrates design practices, processes and tools to investigate what can be learned through practitioner action (direct intervention often by the researcher themselves).” (Doğru, 2019) Rubberband been people centered, has a strong practice on research with stakeholders to inform design decisions.

Both inquires were done during the COVID-19 pandemic, so, online research tools were used. We work in a participatory manner, therefore, strong participation in the early design stage of the research was needed from both clients. Methods were: card sorting, structure interviews, discourse analysis, and questionnaire. Design Thinking was used for a more friendly data visualization and analysis to the stakeholders.

Models used for analysis were: IMC-Integrated Marketing Communication (Kliatchko 2008) and Purple Cow (Godin, 2013) for the service design inquiry. Dendrograms, 3D affinity visualizations, and categories relationship diagram were used for the UX /UI inquiry.

Findings can not be reveal for obvious confidentiality agreements, but we can share that both clients founded the insights very helpful and the ideas for solutions very actionable and punctual.

Some of the solutions will strengthen communication with the communities they serve. Design, as we practice it in Rubberband, that is, as Social Innovation tool, can bring new knowledge to an organization that is willing to transform and reflect on their practices.

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About the author

Dr. Maria de Mater O'Neill

Twenty-five years of experience in art and design education. Award winning painter and designer. Author of Practice-Based Doctoral research “Developing Methods of Resilience for Design Practice”, a design model to improve real time resilience thinking for designers under stressors. She is a Fulbright Specialist Roster candidate.