Design Research versus Marketing Research

First, read this article:

Done? Thoughts? I have a few - and I will keep them short:

 Generally, i agree with a lot of what the article says…BUT…

 In world filled with digital objects and social interactions that act and react within those objects, i think it’s pretty short-sighted and close minded to say that design research is about products that don’t exist and marketing research is about understanding consumers after products exist….think about it…really? Even today?

 Consumers are sometimes users, developers, collaborators, creators, critics, purchasers, propagators, influencers, advocates, dissenters, passive, active and a whole lot more. The distinction this article makes may have been more relevant during the market research and planning days of Mad Men, but today, it doesn’t hold as much weight (and it was written in 2010). 

 Today, for some (not all) products & services used and consumed (digital or not), we, consumers, are part of it’s development, part of it’s growth, part of its success. 

I understand the overall distinction that needs to be made (us versus them, as per usual), but I strongly believe that there is a merging of market and design research, methodologies and perspectives that can (and are) being learned from each other…and i don’t think that’s a bad thing…in fact, it’s pretty damn cool.

e.g., personas do help inform and validate research and should be increasingly created WITH designers (p.s. they are tool used as a function of reality…yes it would be amazing if every designer could become deeply entrenched in the mind, values, and actions of the audience they are building for, but the reality is, they aren’t….that’s why freelancers have a union) That’s why tools exist. Keyword there is TOOL. 

rather than continuing an age-old divide between the creatives and non-creatives, i think it would benefit the end product/service and user experience to work more collaboratively…in fact, it’s increasingly necessary. 

that’s one of the perks of living (and working) in a pretty digital and social world. some people have been calling it “integration.”