The Use of Visual Research Method in the Study of Dishwashing Process to Identify the Design Need and Idea Generation

By Pratul Chandra Kalita and Amarendra Kumar Das.

Published by The Design Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

One of the major challenges the Indian designers have, is the design and development of new products in order to improve quality of life. Ongoing democratization of design is another major development in this context. Several marketing research techniques may be used to understand the consumer behaviour in this context. Again, to study the effectiveness of the marketing research findings in generating design ideas is an interesting area of research. The case study in hand was the consumer behaviour study of the dishwashing process. This paper deals with the effort made to understand the dishwashing process using visual research method and other quantitative research methods. It also discusses the idea generated from the findings of the aforesaid consumer behaviour research. Visual Ethnographic Narrative technique was used to study the process of dishwashing. Other qualitative and quantitative techniques were used to interpret the visual data. It was found that the dishwashing process varies with food habit, types of utensils and cookware used across different cultural segments. Body posture mainly depends on the design of the dishwashing area and the design of utensils. It was observed that people use different type of scrubbers for different kitchenware and utensils. The amount of soap solution used was also different. It was found that the current condition of dishwashing process, in the context of the study, is not satisfactory from the point of view of hygiene, environment and productivity. There is enormous scope of design intervention in to this problem, in order to improve the capability of the people and develop their quality of life. The research findings also demonstrate that a proper synthesis of visual research techniques and quantitative research can generate wonderful design ideas and contribute more in design for development.

Keywords: Socially Responsible Design, Capability Approach, Visual Research, Marketing Research, Consumer Behaviour, Design Management, Dishwashing Problem, Product Design, Design for Development

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.83-94. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 623.216KB).

Dr. Pratul Chandra Kalita

Research Scholar, Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati, Assam, India

Pratul Ch. Kalita is a research scholar in the Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, and a faculty member of Assam Institute of Management, Guwahati, India. He has done Bachelor of Engineering in Production Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur followed by a masters degree in Marketing Management from Pondicherry University, India. His areas of research interest are design management, appropriate technology transfer, marketing research and design methods.

Dr. Amarendra Kumar Das

Professor, Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati, Assam, India

Dr. Amarendra Kumar Das is the Professor and head of the Department of Design, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India. He has done Master of Design from IDC, IIT Bombay, Mumbai and Ph.D, from IIT Guwahati. His areas of research interests are transfer of appropriate technology, rapid prototyping and tooling, and design management.

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