Over on Learners, I answered the question, “What’s your advice for designers transitioning into a research role?”

Talking about moving from design to research Me talking about moving from design to research (screenshot only—click here to watch!)

I was a designer and design professor before I transitioned into UX research. While there is plenty to learn to successfully make the transition from design to research, one thing that worked for me was to think of every facet of the research process as a discrete experience to design. Here’s how you might do this:

  • In creating a research plan, your goal is to design the combination of methods and participants that will yield the right knowledge.
  • In writing a discussion guide, you can design, test, and finalize a question flow that will yield informative answers.
  • In planning a usability test, you have to design the right mix of tasks and questions to yield conclusive findings.
  • You can design how your colleagues will experience your research; what will your workshops, research updates, or presentations be like?

To be sure, each one of the tasks I mentioned above is a lot to think about. But by breaking the research process into a series of smaller experiences to design for our participants and colleagues, we’re able to leverage our design training in service of our research goals.

So in short: think of your research process as yet another experience to design.

You can watch the video version of this post here.