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This Much I Know (About Design Research): Eleanor Bartosh

This Much I Know (About Design Research): Eleanor Bartosh

This Much I Know (About Design Research): Eleanor Bartosh

This Much I Know (About Design Research) is an interview series that profiles members of the DRS. In this edition, we spoke with Eleanor Bartosh about her design research and current projects. Eleanor is Head of Research for the Enterprise Design Thinking program at IBM, which has so far trained 200,000 IBM employees and clients around the world.


How did you get started at IBM?

I began as a design researcher for an IBM Systems team. We worked on a product to help system administrators manage their server environments. I’ve held a few roles since then, and now I lead design research for the Enterprise Design Thinking product portfolio.

What’s Enterprise Design Thinking?

It's enhanced design thinking to meet the needs of big enterprise teams. My group works on a portfolio of products and services to help our clients adopt human-centered innovation in their own companies.

And you provide training? 

Yes—we train employees and clients in-person and through our online platform. Scalability is super important, since IBM operates around the world and has 380,000 employees! You can read about Enterprise Design Thinking and take training Level 1 at 

What’s the role of design thinking at IBM?

It’s our soul. It helps us and our clients stay user-focused, innovative and competitive. IBM rebooted the design program about 7 years ago. We hired more designers and started teaching design thinking to entire teams and to our clients.

Do you do any design research at IBM? 

I explore how teams adopt human-centered design practices and the conditions they need to succeed. I also collaborate with services partners to understand how to better meet client needs through the Enterprise Design Thinking portfolio.

Do you have any favourite design research resources?

Local and world news are amazing resources, especially when I read different news sources. The news helps me understand different perspectives, including those of my colleagues and clients.

What are your hopes for the future of design research? 

I hope design and design research communities can become more empathetic and curious. We should also realise that we don't always need to have the answer!

Where can people find out more about you?

Check out my LinkedIn page or follow me on Twitter My Twitter is a mix of stuff related to IBM, the design industry, food/travel and the occasional animal video.


Interested in getting involved in this interview series? Tell us about your work or nominate another researcher. Contact Isabel at

 August 15, 2019