"What Reach does can be described as 'design-led customer research', which we abbreviate to design research. To achieve this we combine two approaches:
Understanding the people and situations you design for is crucial for successful innovation. These insights only come from spending time with your customers, and developing empathic conversations with them. When presented in an inspiring, visual way such insights are a strong driver of innovation.
Design skills such as generating, modeling and prototyping new ideas are crucial for successful innovation. If these skills are already used in immersive field work and insight creation, the resulting innovative ideas are rooted strongly in the markets your company innovates for."
(Global Design Research Network)
"The design research map is defined and described by two intersecting dimensions: One is defined by approach and the other is defined by mind-set. Approaches to design research have come from a research-led perspective (shown at the bottom of the map) and from a design-led perspective (shown at the top of the map). The research-led perspective has the longest history and has been driven by applied psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists, and engineers. The , on the other hand, has come into view more recently.
There are two opposing mind-sets evident in the practice of design research today. The left side of the map describes a culture characterized by an expert mind-set. Design researchers here are involved with designing for people. These design researchers consider themselves to be the experts, and they see and refer to people as 'subjects,' 'users,' 'consumers,' etc. The right side of the map describes a culture characterized by a participatory mind-set. Design researchers on this side design with people. They see the people as the true experts in domains of experience such as living, learning, working, etc. Design researchers who have a participatory mind-set value people as co-creators in the design process. It is difficult for many people to move from the left to the right side of the map (or vice versa), as this shift entails a significant cultural change."