Research For/By Design — Part 1

Kendra Barber
2 min readApr 13, 2021

For the last few weeks of the semester, we have teamed up with a group to research and design interventions for some kind of social phenomenon. My group decided to go with public transportation, something that effects major groups of people across the world.

We decided to break up the information into topics (political, legal, cultural, ecological, economic, social, technological, behavioral, religious, & attitudinal) and everyone did their own research and added the info they found to the topic they thought fit best. From there, we decided to break those topics up and assign a few to each person to get into more specific and detailed research. I was assigned Social and Attitudinal, and so I research specific information in regards to those specific topics, and started to add onto my sections of the mess map.

I looked into the social implications of public transportation, and how, as a whole, effected people socially, which encompassed a very wide range of ideas. In turn, it helped to generate questions for the attitudinal section, which helps us to understand the “why.”

Final Mess Map:

After coming back together as a group, we were able to see all of the research that everyone had found, and realized that there were some parallels between the different topics. There were quite a few pieces that overlapped with each other, and some of the information could have definitely been put into more than one category.

After Thoughts:

My entire groups works together really well, and we all bring different insights and experience related to our topic. I found it very interesting learning about things I never knew about public transportation, and realizing it effects people on a much bigger scale than I originally thought. I’ve done mind maps/mess maps for past projects in this class, and I always find them extremely helpful when trying to organize and get out a ton of information at once.



Kendra Barber

graphic designer @ a fin tech startup, grad student @ nyu, aspiring uxe