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I am about to conduct my first user interviews in order to find out why and how musicians are collaborating in music production with digital audio workstations.

Having found several resources that seem to give answers to the first question of why people are collaborating in creative processes, I am now wondering how I should be integrating these insights into the research and whether I should be asking this question at all. Can I expect something new and valuable from asking questions of which I feel like I already know the answer to?

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Researching is a complex process that requires many steps.

The basic decision you should make is whether you want to conduct qualitative or quantitative interviews.

Then define research issues and research questions.

If you are expecting an answer, it is worth predicting whether exploring the topic will allow you to discover some insights that may create new perspectives from which to notice the problem.

The entire study should, however, be based on some fundamental purpose of obtaining data that will be useful in the further design process.

Good Luck!

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As you probably realize, every research study is but one piece of a larger jigsaw puzzle, and if you want to be able to complete the picture then every little bit is just as important in contributing to the overall knowledge of that particular subject matter/field (and its people/users).

I think one good way of using existing research and other scientific resources/references you have is to make the assumption that these pieces of information that you have uncovered relate to the questions or problems you want to solve. Without prior knowledge, the best thing you can rely on as a starting point is to look at what others have done in a similar or adjacent space and then validate them through your own research.

This is important because research is generally undertaken with specific assumptions and constraints, so the results can often be subject to these circumstances. Whether you have set up your research in the same way or not, and whether you are looking at the exact same problem space or not can all influence what your interpretation of the findings might be.

If nothing else, by having additional references or information that can be used to support your findings (if the results are comparable) or help highlight that more research is required (if the results are contradictory or inconclusive) will be useful for your next steps.

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