We know that preparation is important, but what's the best way to prepare for meeting someone who could be using your next design? How do you make sure you get into their head, learn what their life is all about, and get the information you need to build something truly innovative and delightful?
You don't want to leave important information "on the table"—information that can give you a more complete understanding of how to move your vision forward. You might act on incomplete detail that creates risk when it forces you to guess what the users need. Worse, the partial insight you have may take your design team in the wrong direction.
User research is an expensive endeavor. Make sure you're prepared to get the most out of every minute that you're with your users. Come home with a deep insight into their thinking, their lives, and how you can change their experience for the better.
Steve Portigal will show your team the art of asking the question. You might visit the user in their office or home, have them come to you for a usability test, or even have a chance encounter at a trade show or while waiting for an airplane. Do you know what to ask? Do you know what to listen for, to extract the critical detail of what they can tell you about your design?