This is part two of four of a mini-series we're doing with the team we are working with at Sparkbox to redesign CodePen. This was recorded a number of ago just as we were wrapping up the research phase.
Research is a huge topic and important for a lot of reasons. Perhaps the most important is the fact that it guides how you even approach a redesign at all. Research guided design also means you aren't just slapping on the "make it pretty" paint that good designers these days rightfully eschew.
User research is one kind of research. That was a big part of this. But so was "stakeholder" research, meaning the Sparkbox team talking to the CodePen team. Interviews. Surveys. Even guided group sketching sessions. It was pretty darn enlightening even amongst our team to find out what each other were thinking. Sometimes a third-party can really help facilitate that.