Discovering the Real Needs of the Client – possibilities of grounded theory in design processes
As service providers for SMEs, designers usually have to adapt to various
needs when working in cooperation with different clients. However, these
needs and requirements are often not transparent and cannot be determined
in a structured way. In this investigation, data is collected through narrative
interviews, which often reveal information the interviewees themselves are
unaware of. Furthermore, grounded theory will be discussed as a possible
basis for a profound, empirical research method that is also applicable to the
field of design. The present contribution analyzes the fields of ‘motivation for
change’, ‘communication structure’ and ‘project management’. On the basis
of these three fields, various forms of cooperation among designers and
clients will be described and compared. Research questions considered are:
What kind of designer best fits the requirements of a company? Do
entrepreneurs need a visionary leader or a structured realist for their tasks?
Do designers need the leadership qualities of a team player or rather of a
steersman? Do companies need designers to act as psychologists or
educators? A concluding overview/summary will describe different
characteristics of designer skills in relation to job requirements – all excerpted
from the empirical field study.
PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014
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