A series of professional methods have been used in different kinds of fields in research. This essay intends to make a primary exploration about five terms of research skill, which are questionnaire, interview, multidisciplinary research, case study and quantitative research, at the same time, illustrating how the five terms being used in research. Firstly, this essay will make a general overview of the meaning of these five nouns in research. Secondly, analyze their advantages and disadvantages, at the same time, give examples and explain how to use these methods in communication design. As one of most important preliminary stages in a research, questionnaire is an efficient and low-cost method to gain the information which helps researcher collect data. At the same time, questionnaire is a good way to gain opinions and attitudes of different people who face the same research topic. At present, Questionnaire has been widely used in various discipline research, meantime, also used in art and design, Gray and Malins(2004)presented that “it has been used in Art and Design research”. Usually, a successful design can be accepted by audience ,there are a lot of works need to be done before planning a design, and it is definitely a good method to understand the preference of target audience through questionnaire. However, it has both advantages and disadvantages. It allows for widely collected information (paper-based, web-based, got feedback through fax or e-mail), and it can get more honesty responses from anonymous respondents, compared with other ways, questionnaire is more economical and timely. On the other side, it will take more time to analyze the results if the large sample gets more generalized response, but it may also get low return rates due to the poor question design or because of ‘questionnaire fatigue’ on the part of respondent, and responses may be problematical. An increasing number of designers tend to use a series of processes to investigate what the “audience” wants, including questionnaire, for example, people can often get an e-mail or a link popping up when they browse websites or read an e-book online, and most simple form is a tick box. People can choose yes or no, true or false, meantime, the researcher will always take the opportunity to explore extension on these simple questions, such as do you like the cover of this book, who recommends this book to you? Researchers can get abundance of information through “one to many” way of questionnaire. Therefore, there is another “one to one” or “one to many” way to collect data which was interviewed. Interview is a pivotal method to find out some opinions which are agreed by others and proved by researches, and a purposeful conversation between the interviewer and the interviewee on the premise of research. William(2006)presented “The interview is both a research method and a popular form of nonfiction”. An interview is a form of conversation through asking questions by the interviewer and answered by interviewee. In research, researchers are used to gain insights of different people through interview. Nevertheless, compared with other ways of information collection, interview is a different method which has more flexibility and effectively, because it can encourage an in-depth conversation through a discursive verbal dialogue. But, it also has some disadvantages, such as the results may be effected via subjective and bias opinion by individuals. Nowadays, more and more designers are using interview to find a person’s values, attitudes, beliefs before doing a further design. In communication design, designers often use telephone or internet chat tools to gain the people’s opinion. For example, before designing a series of culture posters of a city, designer will set some questions such as “what is the most representative food or building in your heart”, inquiry different people through interviewing. When the first draft is done, the designer can hand it...
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