Thursday, November 17, 2011

Research ki Maa.......ya!

At Design School, I used to get very fascinated with the word 'research'. For each and every project, you need some ground on which you're building up your design story. It's the base of your creativity. You can gain inspiration, insights and triggers. All you have to do is prepare an appropriate (*remember this word) questionnaire, talk to a bunch of people and you have a load of information in front of you. Now just compile everything and make some stupid charts/graphs and you'll have what you needed to know. So, you have the foundation, now build away! Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it?

But that's about it. It just sounds simple. Research infact, is the most crucial part of any design process. For starters, it's most difficult to actually sit down and think of *appropriate questions to be asked. You get the questions right and half your research is done, I'd say. I mean you can't just ask random questions and expect to get relevant information. You might have to edit the questions a million times based on the kind of answers you get. I remember I've always edited the questionnaire after each person/set of persons I've interviewed.
Secondly, knowing the correct people to talk to is very important. It's annoying when you either get the same answers from a bunch of people or very different answers altogether. And it's most annoying if you discover a whole new set of relevant people to interview at the very last moment! ugh!

Now these are just minor hitches, but the greatest annoyance occurs when you don't know what you have to ask and to whom, and yet you're just running around like a maniac trying to find people; it seems that everyone runs away and hides from you. Like the whole world was informed in advance that a crazy girl is approaching you for some stupid survey and they all run for their life! I swear once I went to a school and i was lucky enough to reach the Principal, but the moment I start talking, "Ma'am, I am...", that's it! She cuts me off right there and drives me out of the room. I mean hear my name atleast! It's a pretty name. And believe me when I say, she already read my permission letter explaining my purpose sent to her by one of the office boys. Shocker huh? Well, not really, it's been pretty much the same for over two months now.

I'm so grateful that I even got this far till now. But all I'm saying is, it would've been nice if there was some idea to start with or a rule-book to get you started or even a person with you who knew Kannada if nothing else. Well, I know I'm asking for too much. For now, all I know is there is no end to research. You can just keep going on and on and you'll never want to stop. I'm kinda in that phase right now. Maybe I'm just hoping for some kind of an epiphany or maybe I'm hoping it'll atleast show me the way. Or, maybe it already showed me a way earlier and I missed it. So I'll have to keep going till I hit another road? Maybe. I don't know...i don't know.

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