Now that xResearch is roughly defined and framed in commit #2 let me ask the most important question first: why? Well, there are a couple of reasons!
When it comes to my research on the internet it’s all about reading and viewing a lot of content in all the different media formats. Some are articles, papers, tweets, posts, podcasts, talks, hearings, ads, code, databases – whatever is needed to dive deep into a certain topic. This is the most essential part, creating a knowledge or resource database / archive on which my decision-making process relies on for the project. And I must admit that this is a really messy and chaotic process of dealing with fragment and unstructured data. On thing leads to another, more and more information can get into the equation. Until you are getting overwhelmed by the amount you collected over a period of time. And then it gets pretty stressful for me!
Personally, I don’t have a good memory. I forget a lot of things right after I read something or watched a video. So I set the rule for myself to never watch or read any kind of content without taking notes. If I don’t do it, I’m pretty sure I have to watch it over and over again without ever working with it. The other rule is: do not get distracted by recommended content around the thing you are working on and disable autoplay on videos! They get me almost every time.. You want to practice intentional research. You are looking for specific, topic related information. It’s not about getting inspired – this already happened in an earlier stage when the project or the idea wasn’t there. This is also a personal challenge to differentiate between stuff I’m generally interested in (and there is a lot of interesting stuff out there!) and the information that is truly important for the project. From my experience when dealing for example with videos I need at least 2 – 2,5x the time of a video to take my notes, replay certain parts to fully get the message (try to use the CC button for auto-generated captions, helps me to accelerate my transcriptions) and bring it on paper. Yeah, on paper.
I love working on paper but unfortunately even paper has its limitations, especially when you are dealing with digital content on a regular basis.
And that is commit #3.