on 13 November 2004
Beware! This book has an attractive title for design researchers. I expected it to be a manual that might be useful, for example, to PhD students in design. But it is not. It is hugely disappointing. It has usurped the title 'design research' for what is largely innovation management prattle.
It's a book for designers, not students. But I'm not sure what designers would get from it. Inspiration to engage more in user research? Perhaps. Encouragement to delve deeper into research methods, and to learn more? No; because the references and further reading are extremely limited. For instance, two potentially useful chapters, overviews of quantitative and qualitative methods respectively, have just one reference between them, and that's to Cooper's The Inmates are Running the Asylum, in the qualitative methods chapter.
It's a very parochial book. Parochial in the sense of being based in a restricted context. Most of the contributors seem to come from a limited network of design practices and consultancies and teaching institutions. Parochial in the sense of having very limited horizons. It's an American book that seems completely unaware of what might be happening across the Pacific in Asia, and almost completely unaware of what might be happening across the Atlantic in Europe.
on 17 June 2010
Don't buy this book if you're looking "how to" information on design research topic. It's just not there. All this book has is philosophical rumblings by some people with design background about their own inferences. You can waste time reading 4 pages, waiting for an answer or a clue, and it's just not there.
When I've decided to buy this book, I hoped to get a reference book, to use in a harsh schedule of design project. And this one is for somebody, to read on trip to your grandma's house or anything, but allowing slow and thoughtfull reading. That wasn't my case - my time is strictly scheduled and books like this are a waste of time for me. If you have the same needs as I do - don't buy this book, it's a waste of time and has "no to very few methodics, spreaded between 334 pages.