Workshop on Field Research and Visual Methods at Decipher 2018

Sheila will be at Decipher 2018, the Design Educators Research Conference at the University of Michigan, from September 27-29. On Saturday the 29th, she will be delivering a workshop entitled “Transforming research into action with visualizations.

Drawn from her recently-published book, Making Sense of Field Research, the workshop will introduce a set of visualization methods and tools rooted in the disciplined logic and visual principles of information design to support two key steps of the design research process:

  1. making sense of research data
  2. moving from findings to actionable items to inform the design process

These two activities are inherently challenging, but they can be even more overwhelming when working with qualitative data gathered in the field, as in the case of using contextual interviews or participant observations. Field data is often unstructured and represents participants’ stories, feelings, expressions, gestures, tones, or behaviors.

The workshop activities are meant to help designers and researchers feel confident externalizing and visualizing their thinking, while making sense of data. Working with visualization methods and tools can help designers see hidden connections in the data and articulate ideas more clearly.

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