Research in Design at Vetta: Methods and Tools for an Effective Approach

Understand how research methods and tools are utilized to drive innovation and excellence in design at Vetta


This article, written by members of the Design team at Vetta*, delves into the crucial role of research in product development, providing valuable insights that guide multidisciplinary teams in testing hypotheses and directing efforts toward innovative solutions.

In this article, we explore the significance of design research, both quantitative and qualitative methods, and how Vetta implements these practices in its design process.

The Role of Design in Research:

Research is not solely the responsibility of product managers and product designers but involves the entire product team. However, due to their mastery of techniques and tools, it is common for designers to lead research initiatives. Designers contribute to providing a holistic view of technical, business, and user challenges, enabling a better understanding of the needs of end-users and identifying lean solutions that deliver more value and improved experiences.

Benefits of Research in Product Development:

  • Reducing Uncertainties: Eliminating uncertainties related to users, business, and technical risks, enabling the team to focus on what matters through solid data and insights validated by tests and experiments.
  • Evidence-Based Decisions: Grounding design and user experience decisions in results, facilitating the creation of more effective user experiences, flows, and interfaces.
  • Focus on What Matters: Concentrating resources and efforts on what is most relevant from a usage and business perspective, considering available technologies, and allowing teams to be more agile in delivering value.
  • Cost Reduction: Identifying issues early on allows for time and resource savings.
  • Identification of Opportunities: Highlighting improvement opportunities and fostering innovation by providing a more holistic view of the problem and stakeholders, reducing the risks of subjectivity and biases.
  • Aligned Strategies: Assisting in the development of strategies aligned with business, product, and user experience objectives, empowering designers with autonomy and agility in prototyping by translating these strategies into user flows and prototypes.

Research Methods: Quantitative vs. Qualitative

Research methods are divided into two main categories: quantitative and qualitative.


  • Metrics for Errors: Measuring data numerically, providing a quantitative view of problems.
  • Mapping Opportunities: Identifying areas for improvement based on the repetition of errors or behaviors.
  • Guiding the Team: Pointing out critical problems that need solutions.
  • Validating the Need for Discovery: Confirming demand for new products or features.


  • Identifying Motivations: Delving into underlying reasons for problems or behaviors.
  • Reinforcing Needs: Confirming the need for solutions from user perspectives.
  • Mapping Opportunities: Revealing areas of improvement based on insights derived from user speech or behavior.
  • Delivering Value: Identifying the current value delivery of our product and what additional value we can offer based on user perspectives.

At Vetta, the design process is guided by research. Below, we present a case study illustrating the practical application of these principles, divided into three stages:


Objectives and Criteria:

  • Standardizing button usage for greater user predictability.
  • Sharing design decisions to save time.
  • Improving onboarding processes for faster orientation of new designers.

Tools Used:

  • Desk Research: Research in design community channels and articles.
  • Consultation of consolidated usability standards, based on W3C standards such as WCAG 2.0.
  • Design Critique: Presenting research results and consulting product designers to express product needs.


  • Identification of questions to be answered after the initial evaluation.
  • Open contribution: Creation of a page in Confluence where everyone could contribute references.
  • Design Critique: Presenting research results and consulting product designers to express product needs.
  • Documentation of resolutions: Documenting design decisions made after everyone's evaluation and generating proposals.


  • Design documentation: ZeroHeight page detailing button usage and exemplifying use cases.
  • Changes in components: Development team requested changes in components.
  • Design library update: Allowing new screens to be created using the new standards.


Objectives and Criteria:

  • Standardizing colors across the system.
  • Improving graphics usability and legibility.
  • Adhering to accessibility guidelines.

Tools Used:

  • Benchmark: Relying on experiences from other Design Systems.
  • Palette generators: Mathematical models aiding in the creation of consistent palettes.
  • Contrast Checker: Testing color contrast according to WCAG standards.


  • Evaluation of the current palette and identification of problems.
  • Study and analysis of standards.
  • Standardizing colors in the system for faster understanding by new designers.


  • CIELAB model: Research and use of more suitable models for accessibility.
  • Palette adapted to accessibility standards: Considering all accessibility standards in our palette.
  • Decrease in color conflicts: Colors no longer compete for attention, increasing understanding. The difference between colors is more noticeable to the human eye.
  • Documentation showing how to use colors: Best practices and what to avoid.


Objectives and Criteria:

  • Mapping the flow of creating analyses in Viridis NG.
  • Identifying improvements in the flow.
  • Mapping user personas.


  • Research plan: Defining objectives and the most appropriate method, opting for usability testing. Selecting which screens' flow users should analyze and what to observe in this interaction.
  • Interaction with users: Meeting between designer and user, where the user shared the screen while navigating the system to achieve a goal, and the designer observed, only mediating.
  • Test documentation: The designer records the main observations and user behaviors.

Tools Used:

  • Moderated usability test (Observation): Design team observes the user navigating a flow to achieve a goal.
  • User journey (Documentation): Visual map of test results with pains and opportunities within this user-made flow.


  • Mapping new items for the Roadmap: Through user observation, the team proposed new improvements to the product.
  • Understanding the user: The team mapped the profile of our internal users, helping prioritize items based on them.

Design research is a key element in Vetta's approach to creating effective and innovative solutions. By using quantitative and qualitative methods, the company reduces uncertainties, makes informed decisions, and maintains a constant focus on user satisfaction. Research not only enhances products but also drives the growth and maturity of the company, keeping it at the forefront of innovation.

Do you want to know how design research can transform your company? Understand how Vetta uses research methods and tools to drive innovation and excellence in design. Contact us and discover how we can help improve your design approach and achieve exceptional results. Together, we can create solutions that meet your customers' needs and promote the growth of your business.

*CO-AUTHORS: Maick Maia - Product Designer Sofia Aguiar - Product Designer Tainara Costa - Design Lead Taynná Pizarro - Design Lead Thais Amaral - Product Designer Vitor Paixão - Design Lead


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