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Design Research

Making a Research Plan

You'll need to do text and image research at the same time, because background research helps you know what images to look for.  Try making a mind map to plot your topic, the subtopics, how you'll research each subtopic and some of the problems that your designs could solve. Practice with the one below, and check out an example here

Each subtopic will be connected to text and image sources that help you understand the bigger picture and give you visual inspiration. Check out this book chapter for more info about mind maps for designers.

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Questions to Consider

  • Are there related videos? Try searching Google and limiting your search to Videos (instead of limiting yourself to just Youtube)
  • Are there any documentaries that have been made on the topic? How would you know? Try searching for your topic and documentary to see if anything comes up
  • Are there any podcasts or interviews you can listen to? Add the terms podcast or  interview to your Google search
  • If you click on an image from Google Image Search results and visit the website where it's from, will you find more related images?
  • Are there maps you should try to find?
  • Is there historical information held in an archive you could view?
  • Are there symbols or icons you should research?
  • Should you do a Google News search?
  • Are there books on the topic that contain images? Search the library and Google books