After the briefing meeting, the next stage in the design process is usually research: finding information about products and markets, production process and techniques, etc.
Information can be collected in different ways:
· By waiting to see if information presents itself (gathered by chance from contacts and perhaps by reading).
This is unsatisfactory if there is any form of time limit on when the answer is required.
· BY asking questions.
This is appropriate if it is known who to ask and what to ask. Known as primary research or field research, this is where designers find information directly for themselves; by going out and looking at the shops and visiting trade fairs and exhibitions, by asking relevant individuals and groups, by using mailed questionnaires, by setting up focus groups, by using mailed questionnaires, by setting up focus groups and by interviewing people.
· By looking up what is required.
This is appropriate if it is known where to look, how to look it up and what exactly is being looked for. Known as secondary or desk research, this is where information is gleaned from work already carried out by other individuals or groups. Such research might include looking at market research information obtained through government censuses and large market research programmes.