A Design Research Framework — Mule Design

A design research framework consisting of several phases: clarity, questions, refinement, methods, analysis and synthesis, and integration. It emphasizes the importance of being intentional and having clear goals, questions, and roles at each stage of the process. Conducting research is framed as a design activity aimed at making informed decisions, rather than an academic exercise.

The clarity phase involves defining what is known and unknown to identify information gaps. The questions phase develops research questions on priority topics. Refinement ensures questions are clear and the right type of data is needed. Methods are then chosen to answer the questions. Analysis and synthesis involves interpreting the results, while integration ensures insights are communicated and applied.

Overall it presents a systematic but flexible process for organizations to follow to ensure design research is effective and avoids common pitfalls. The goal is learning what is needed to make the best possible design decisions. Intentionality and critical thinking are emphasized over rigid procedures or academic standards.