How to Lie with Design Research:
Same Data, Different Findings
“There are three types of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Thus said Mark Twain. Should we add “Research Findings” to the list? Experience shows that, especially with qualitative research like the type designers often do, two researchers can look at the same set of data and draw dramatically different findings from them. How do we deal with this? If the findings are in conflict, who is correct? Is there a way to make our findings more objective, or is the nature of qualitative research such that subjectivity (what some might call lying) is always necessary?
Dan Saffer has designed and built websites, applications, and devices since 1995. An international speaker and author, his acclaimed book, “Designing for Interaction” has been called “a bookshelf must-have for anyone thinking of creating new designs” (Jared Spool, CEO of UIE). He has led projects for a wide variety of clients, from large organizations like Greenpeace and Time Warner to start-ups such as Ning, Soundflavor, and Foxmarks.
Dan is an internationally recognized thought leader on interaction design. He’s spoken at such conferences as the IA Summit, SXSW, Business to Buttons, and DesignThinkers. Dan’s writing on design has appeared in BusinessWeek, Vitamin, and Boxes and Arrows, and his book has been translated into several languages. He has taught workshops on interaction design in the US, Europe, and Australia.
Dan is a member of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and serves on the Board of Directors of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA). He received his Masters of Design in Interaction Design from Carnegie Mellon University.