As you all (hopefully) know, the ID Design Research Conference wrapped up this past weekend. If you haven’t yet, be sure to thank Caroline Little, Ido Mor and the other volunteers for doing an outstanding job with the conference. A number of blogs have commented on the conference, and be sure to check out the article that ID’s own Beth Santos, Jordan Fischer, and Alex Cheek wrote for Core77. The change of venue this year to the MCA brought a heightened degree of professionalism and a welcome change in organizational structure to an already well-known event. In past years, guests had to decide among coinciding presentations about which speaker to listen to. The ample lobby space of the MCA encouraged people to hold more conversations in between presentations, making it easier this year to get a pulse on the audience buzz generated from presenters. One thing that was missed from prior conferences was the lunchtime table top discussions where guests had the opportunity to interact with presenters over lunch. Hopefully that will be brought back next year.
Thirteen men and women from a variety of backgrounds displayed their research and presented problems ranging from improving water sanitation in South Africa, accommodating patient and caregiver roles in the health care system, to fostering word of mouth advertising for household products. They are all intriguing problems, but not really too unusual for designers to tackle (at least as students here at ID). Especially insightful were the new research methods showcased for tackling these complex problems. The diversity of the presenters made evident the ability of design research to solve any problem.