Kaleidoscope Design Researcher Jenni Fearing covers an event with the University of Cincinnati chapter of Design for America, where she presented on various design research methods.

design research methodsOn Sunday, September 25th, I had the privilege to speak with passionate students in the University of Cincinnati (UC) chapter of Design for America about building empathy with the user. During the event, I shared several key design research methods that innovation and product design firms like Kaleidoscope regularly employ.

So Who is Design for America?

design research methodsDesign for America is “an award- winning, nationwide network of university students using design innovation for social good, building community, and developing their capacity to take on any challenge,” according to their UC chapter website. Currently, the students are split into more than ten different groups focused on solving a wide array of problems. To date, they have completed secondary research and will be working toward field research.

What Did We Do?

design research methodsDuring my talk, these students were introduced to methods they can use to gather research on the problems they are solving through design. Some of these methods include interviewing, contextual inquiry, fly-on-the wall observation, affinity diagramming, stakeholder mapping, consumer journey mapping and walk-a-mile immersion. Next, the students practiced these methods in their small groups.

Looking to the Future

design research methodsIt was a great experience speaking to an engaged group of young design enthusiasts. I can’t wait to see what they develop through their time in Design for America. Beyond that, I am eager to see how they apply these design research methods down the road in their careers.


Design for America: University of Cincinnati students using design to create local and social impact


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