Why We Research

It can be challenging to determine a design brief for groups of occupants, especially when user’s subconscious needs and behaviours don’t align with their perceived wants. At ds, we create highly innovative and considered spaces which align with client goals and user needs. Ds’s research-based, user-focused process eliminates uncertainties when it comes to deciding what is best for our client’s users.

1. By emphasizing research, we develop a strategy for resource allocation that:

  • Clarifies client vision
  • Establishes programme hierarchy
  • Prevents scope creep
  • Improves estimates of time

2. Increases client revenue & credibility

3. Improves user engagement & quality of life

How we facilitate innovation: Our Research Process

1. Initiation: Meeting with Client Understanding client vison and goals Workshop with Stakeholders Gain an in-depth understanding of goals of the project

2. Assessment: After gaining understanding from the client and stakeholders, we curate a bespoke research plan, this includes: Project Planning & Definition Provide a timeline and list of key stages of the project Knowledge Transfer Review relevant existing strategies + reports of the project Architectural Audit Assess existing conditions of site

3. User Research: Observe and study the behavior of target users to understand their key behaviors, frustrations, goals and actions. User research methods differ depending on the client vision and project type. The research process can include:

  • Ethnographic Research

To observe users in their existing context to understand user circulation and behaviors.

  • Contextual Interviews

To interview users to gain qualitative data, which gives insight to user ways of thinking.

  • User Surveys

To gain quantitative data of user to support and validate user assumptions.

4. Analysis:

  • Analyse Findings

Map out and refine all user data to extract core motivations, goals, behaviors, and actions.

  • Define Programme + Brief

Validate and curate an evidence-based, user-centric return brief.

5. Conceptual Design: Push innovative, user-centric concepts while connecting user and business goals with design.

  • Provide Design Precedents

To showcase design intent

  • Usability Testing (Design prototyping)

Refining and validating the design through immersive experiences (VR/AR) on relevant users.

The following projects are examples of how we integrate our design methodology:

Alamein Neighbourhood Learning Centre
Camcare’s Community and Social Services Centre
Aultun Social Housing
Monash University Student Hub
The George Swinburne
Monash University Post Graduate Facilities
Medical Student Accommodation & Facilities, University of Melbourne
SUT Student Accommodation