What happens in a lab?

When a project is taken on by the Experience Labs, our designers spend time exploring the issue with the partners. The team then works directly with the end user of the service/ product to understand and investigate the problem in a safe environment, using design research methods.

Each Experience Lab is crafted by the lead designer to suit the subject and participants. While the labs share a common method, the execution and tools used will be different. The research approach, while remaining firmly rooted in emerging design research methods, will also be tailored to each lab. A large proportion can be planned ahead but it is the skill of the lead designer to adapt the activities to the participants’ reactions during the lab itself.

Labs can involve participants from the academic, business and civic worlds, who take part in a series of activities created by the Experience Lab designers and are encouraged to share their experiences. They are also interviewed and the lab is recorded and videoed to allow detailed analysis later.  Working collaboratively, all participants use information gathered during the lab to create a possible solution.

The designers carry out thematic and qualitative analysis and create a report and video about the project for the partner. The report will suggest possible next steps but the project may progress to the Factory stage of DHI for commercial exploitation, or the partner may continue development of the designed solution alone.


Insole Experience Labs mapping tool

Mapping the patient journey using a bespoke tool in the Insole lab.