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Chris Nodder, Chris Nodder Consulting
I will describe a specific set of tools I've been using in a particular order that really helps all the members of a project (makers, monetizers and managers) understand user needs and build for those needs. None of the methods I use are new, but by focusing on the idea of empathizers and systemizers I ensure that there is sufficient continuity between the activities we perform that non-empathizers can still understand that they are not the user, and agree on a sensible user-centric way forward. This stops arguments and focuses everyone on the team towards customer based solutions.
There is always a paper trail back to observed user data. There is always enough information pinned to the wall that people can point and say "see, this is why we're doing what we are doing". There is always enough verification built in to the process that we know whether we're on track before we invest in code. I'll describe the concept of systemizers and empathizers, share the set of tools I use and show the flow of information between each tool.