Empathize: Using research to understand users
Identify your customers’ pain points
Get out on the field, observe and interview your customers
Turn pain points into prioritized list of goals
It all starts with in-person research to find out where your customers’ issues lie. In simple terms, this is the going out on the field phase through which you get to interact and interview people. This phase is important since customers hold the key to your successful design. This is where they can demonstrate and articulate to you the problems they have, whether influenced by environmental factors or process. Recognizing and solving these pain points will be greaty appreciated by your customers and also translates into business value for you and your design.
During this phase Empathy is key and core to your approach… You are not your users, but you will need to walk in their shoes to understand the world around them from their perspective. Observing your customers performing their tasks in real-time, then talking with them about their experiences, gives you insights you can’t get from sitting around a conference room table making assumptions or looking at a set of statistics or questionare results, which tell you what is going on, but not why. Once you have insights from your customer observations, you can turn these pain points into a prioritized list of goals for what your new product should achieve.
Even at this early stage, you can set some metrics so you know when you meet those goals. Many development projects just aren’t measured or we know they’re failing, but we release them anyway. Setting measurable goals helps you ensure that you really are delivering business benefit. You can measure early and often as you go through the iterative design thinking process.
3 types of Research Approaches:
Study of people in their own environment through the use of methods such as participant observation and face-to-face interviewing.
|Provides in-depth findings about human behavior|
|Can unveil to new data through observation that leads to new lines of inquiry|
|Can involve a long timeframe, lots of coordination and high costs|
|Not everyone is comfortable with showing their true behavior to outsiders|
In-depth interviews are usually conducted one by one for 30 minutes to an hour in-person. In-person is best, as it allows us to see the customer’s reaction, body language, and hear their tone of voice, their excitement and their frustration.
|Provides deeper understanding of respondents|
|Can provide rich data with enhanced insight and more details|
|Trained interviewer is required with knowledge in interviewing techniques|
|Since in-depth interviews can take up a significant amount of time, a minimal number of interviews are achieved for a fixed period of time|
More informal than the other methods. For some projects it can provide sufficient enough insights to make informed strategic decisions. Often times at KP we are faced with deadline driven projects that can leave little room for bigger research that requires more cost and legwork.
|Can be very informative and cost effective|
|Can be squeezed into nearly every timetable and can be done with large groups|
|Can be risky as one may miss the right questions or fail to pick up on responses in informal environments|
|Can be shallow and unreliable as respondents may not represent user personas well|
Continue to the Define section to learn more about the Design Thinking process.