Noble and Bestley's introduction to design research methodologies was an interesting read in which the process for designing something that visually communicates a message, is put into a step by step ideation of how to go about finding and creating the most successful final piece. The first instinct for most designers or people in general, is to eliminate and find the exact end result ideas as soon as possible. However, in a successful process, the practical problem that is trying to be solved needs to be thought of in a broader sense. Once the problem/idea is addressed, you can then generate research questions, which will define the research methodology to find the research outcome, which then solves the original problem. Through this cycle of research, relating the content to competing messages is important so that if there is a visual language that has already been created for your particular audience it can either be followed or recognized so that a new visual language is created. Cost and time restrictions are also an important aspect to look at before hand, and this may play a part in the scheduling for experimentation. This brings us to the section on experimentation and how to go about investigating. Context-definition is a model that purely investigates a field of study, where as context-experiement starts with investigating a field, but then uses experimentation to take the redefinition of a project into a more particular focus, sooner. Both of these methods should help find the visual route and end product which is most "effective, useful or engaging" for the purpose. To do this, social analysis' (whether they are measured by criteria/ positive and negative number results or the designer using critical self-reflection), is critical. What interested me at the end of this reading, was the section on mind mapping and the case study reflection titled "I love you." When addressing an audience of any kind, no matter what the research guides you toward specifically, there is an embedded aspect of human kind that responds to the way maps convey direction and sense-making, and the way symbols create different visual meanings based on their shape, color, size, etc. These visual variables studied by designers, are what create a successful visual communication, if done correctly. The research is at the core, and the background is what develops these visual outcomes, but in the end, basic human understanding of symbolism and mapping is how the project's successful execution is created.
Noble, Ian, and Russell Bestley. "Methods." Visual Research: An Introduction to Research Methodologies in Graphic Design. Lausanne: AVA, 2005. N. pag. Print.