Discover 08


Designing for a different culture or market is always a challenge. Immersion is a useful research method that can help a team more thoroughly understand the context of users in unfamiliar situations by having team members experience those contexts firsthand. Immersion is most useful when creating products for unfamiliar cultures, professions, or experiences, and it is most influential when the same people who are designing the product or service are immersed in the foreign experience. In addition or as an alternative to immersion, you might bring designers native to a given context into the team. This ensures a deeper understanding than can be gathered from just a week or two in the field.

While it’s most commonly done at the beginning of a project, immersion can be useful throughout the design process. As a design team moves from the discover phase into the define and, later, refine phases, immersion can be used to seek answers to more specific questions and to inform potential solutions. So, as a team continues to engage with users through participatory design and user validation, it makes sense to also continue engaging with their context.

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Connected Bicycle

Immersion for CityBike covers ten days of getting to know one of the busiest bicycling cities in the world—Amsterdam. Insights cover experiencing bicycling in both known and unknown terrain.