Book Review: "Research Methods for Product Design"

Alex Milton and Paul Rodgers released Research Methods for Product Design in 2013 with Laurence King. As a design researcher of products, I find the book to be a detailed account of some of the most relevant tools and methods we face in design research. The world of digital UX design research is growing, but the need for physical product design research is just as relevant.

Here are the 10 best parts of the book:

  1. Summary of Research Methods Involved in the Design Process
    The authors cleanly visualize some of the most critical tools in the design research catalogue. This practical tool is a great counterpart to Brenda Laurel's book Design Research  (p. 16).
     
  2. Sampling Methods
    Too often, choosing a sample is a random activity. The authors introduce the 5 methods for gathering the right sample for your research study. (p. 59)
     
  3. Tutorial: How to Right a Literature Review
    An immediately meaningful guide for writing a review of large batches of information. (p. 65)
     
  4. Perceptual Mapping
    Take your 2x2 matrix skills to a new level. (p. 80)
     
  5. Extreme Users
    Thinking about your outliers? Check out this section on understanding and analyzing extreme users. (p. 83)
     
  6. Tutorial: How to Create a Great Questionnaire
    I'm consistently learning new ways to ask simple questions. This section is a great refresher on the practical needs of a good questionnaire. (p. 91)
     
  7. Case Study: Dyson Vacuum Cleaners 
    If you love design, beauty, and sphere-shaped devices, you may enjoy this case study. (p. 110)
     
  8. Case Study: OXO Good Grips Kitchen Utensils
    The ergonomic studies of OXO are consistently inspiring.  (p.112)
     
  9. Tutorial: How to conduct a Matrix Evaluation
    This benchmarking tool is invaluable during design research activities when you are comparing multiple products. (p. 152)
     
  10. Tutorial: How to Create a Great Research Presentation
    Nail your storytelling skills with this guide to presenting your insights. (p. 170)