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I am Darshini Shah - UX Researcher and Design Strategist. 

After browsing through my projects and skills, do check out my blog which is my personal process notebook about the projects listed on this website.

Contextual Research

Contextual Research

To conduct an efficient user-centered design solution, one must understand the user and their relationship with the product or service. It has been observed that a user's behavior is subjective to the context, which makes it important for a design researcher to look through the lens of the user and the context individually. There are various methods to conduct this research; some of which are discussed below.


Project : Historic Preservation in Savannah

For an insightful contextual inquiry, we looked into the history of Savannah since its founding year - 1733 A.D. We recorded the development of the citiy in terms of major events and eras.

Darshini Shah Era map

Insights : The mapping proved to be very helpful in understanding the socio-economic history of Savannah. It gave us insight into where the city got its shape in becoming a 'Historic city'. There were major events that shaped the city - civil war, events from antebellum era, Oglethorpe era, etc. 

Fun fact - Savannah is the first planned city in the United States!


Interviews are a method of doing ethnographic research to understand people's viewpoint on the subject. The research frames open or closed questions which may be fact-based or emotion-based, tangible or intangible. Stakkeholder interviews are mostly open conversations governed by emotional viewpoints while expert interviews are based on facts.

Project : Historic Preservation in Savannah


As a design management student, it is very important to understand the take of our stakeholders. The goal of these interviews was to understand the direction in which our stakeholder's interests lie so that we cn find a collaborative opportunity and a sustainable progress.

A few questions that we asked our stakeholders are as stated below -

What are your viewpoints on the socio-economic developments of Savannah?
What according to you are some major benchmarks in the progress of the city?
Can you list some event that acted as a turning point in the development of the city?
Darshini Shah_Sotheby's

Subject Matter Experts

SME interviews provide valuable perspectives. They are used as a method to collect data and tend to be more closely related to secondary research than primary research.

An essential part of user research is talking to those directly involved. We interviewed several people within our expert groups; one of them being Erin and Jim who have been living in the outskirts of Savannah, but are in search of a nice house in the downtown. They are our experts as they have been in the real estate business since years.

Darshini Shah Expert Interviews

Insights : Since most of our regular interviews were with SCAD students, the subject matter experts and Stakeholders gave us insights on the historic downtown, impact of plans to preserve and gentrification in the city.

Affinity Diagramming (Synthesis)

Affinity Diagramming (Synthesis)