Erika Hall’s Just Enough Research: Chapter Two Reflection
A successful project starts and ends with strong communication and research among team members. As Erika Hall iterates in chapter two of Just Enough Research, “Nothing slows down design and development projects as much as arguing over personal opinions or wasting effort solving the wrong problem” (20). Working in a group comes with its own advantages, but groups are made of diverse thinkers who most likely have their own takes on a certain matter of the project. She also mentions “the wrong problem,” a phrase that is also mentioned in a previous reading from Donald Norman, who stresses the importance of finding the correct problem beneath a client’s worries. For both of these authors to include similar observations in their books leads me to believe that the troubles faced by designers on the job can make or break an entire project, depending on how the group chooses to solve these problems.
Hall touches upon the various group tasks and how each one functions within the research process. She makes it a point to mention that “research roles represent clusters of tasks, not individual people” (16). This supports the high level of team collaboration required to create a quality product for the client. Hall debunks common excuses like time constraints and research disagreements that often provoke group issues, wasting time that is best spent dealing with adversity head on. This is yet another road block for designers who lack motivation for a project. It is not too dissimilar from a high school group project in which the participants have no drive to put together their assignment. I have experienced poor group planning one too many times; people would complain that they could never meet up or complete their part in a timely manner. Of course this slows completion of the entire project and hinders other team members’ productivity. While working in groups, it is best to be open-minded and positive, yet realistic.
Like the several situational examples of groups referred to by Hall, each dynamic is as unique as its task. Again, Hall does not believe that this factor counts as a reason to not conduct research. “Just remember that no matter what situation you’re in, you can do or participate in some useful research” (22). Hall yet again debunks more reasons why people would not focus and work together. The most important part of the creative process is doing it. Designers can think of endless reasons as to why they cannot do research for a product, but it takes a group of well-motivated individuals to deliver.