Discover and Act on Insights About People


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What do customers want or need ? A permanent concern for entrepreneurs, designers, marketers and others seeking to innovate. Steve will discuss methods for exploring both solutions and needs and he will explore how an understanding of culture (yours and your customers’) can drive innovation.

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Discover and Act on Insights About People

  1. 1. Discover and Act on Insights About People<br />
  2. 2. In this session…<br />Some of the most effective ways of understanding what customers want or need – going out and talking to them – are surprisingly indirect.<br />Insights produced by these methods impact two facets of innovation: first as information that informs the development of new products and services, and second as catalysts for internal change.<br />
  3. 3. Madness in methods<br />Ethnography<br />Ethnographic interviews <br />Video ethnography<br />Depth-interviews<br />Contextual research<br />Home visits<br />Site visits<br />Experience modeling<br />Design research<br />User-centered design<br />One-on-ones<br />Camera studies <br />User safaris <br />
  4. 4. Madness in methods<br />Ethnography<br />Ethnographic interviews <br />Video ethnography<br />Depth-interviews<br />Contextual research<br />Home visits<br />Site visits<br />Experience modeling<br />Design research<br />User-centered design<br />One-on-ones<br />Camera studies <br />User safaris <br />What-ever!<br />
  5. 5. Whatever you want to call it…<br />Examine people, ideally in their own context<br />Gather their stories<br />What are they doing?<br />What does it mean?<br />Synthesize the stories<br />Find the patterns and connections<br />Apply to business and design problems<br />Create new stories that reframe how the organization talks and thinks<br />Use products, services, packaging, design to manifest that new story in the marketplace<br />
  6. 6. “Examine” using a range of methods<br />
  7. 7. “Examine” using a range of methods<br />
  8. 8. Ask how they would solve a problem<br />Participatory design<br />Doesn’t mean we implement the requested solution literally<br />“I wish it had a handle”<br />Many ways to solve the underlying need (“I need to move it around”)<br />Designers work with this data to generate alternatives<br />Engage people in the non-literal through games and role-playing<br />Uncover underlying principles and explore areas of opportunity that don’t yet exist<br />
  9. 9. Show people a solution<br />Consider the difference betweentesting and exploring<br />Avoid “Do you like this?”<br />Don’t show your best guess at a solution; instead identify provocative examples to surface hidden desires and expectations<br />Make sure you are asking the right questions<br />What does this solution enable? What problems does it solve?<br />Especially for new products, needed before getting into specifics of your implementation<br />Image from Roberto and <br />
  10. 10. Observing pain points<br />While we always uncover so-called pain points, the bigger opportunity may come from understanding why – how did we get here?<br />
  11. 11. It may not really be that painful<br />Satisficing (coined by Herbert Simon in 1956) refers to our acceptance of good-enough solutions<br />These can drive engineers and designers crazy…but the real problem isn’t always what it appears to be<br />
  12. 12.
  13. 13. Choosing what types of people to study<br />Typically, start with the people you want to design for<br />Also consider people who can articulate a point of view<br />Early adopters, lead users, analogous or adjacent users<br />Triangulate through multiple perspectives<br />People who haven’t done “it” yet<br />People who stopped doing “it”<br />By creating contrast you reveal key influencing factors that you wouldn’t otherwise see<br />
  14. 14. The techniques are teachable<br />The UX community offers up a bountiful supply of webinars, books, workshops, and conferences to help develop mastery of the tools<br />What tools is your team adept at?<br />What skills do you need to build?<br />
  15. 15. But for many organizations, this is a cultural shift<br />A shift in what we think the customer’s problem is<br />Are we open to uncovering other problems?<br />A shift in what we think the solution is<br />Are we open to considering other solutions?<br />Is your organization committed to creating the kinds of experiences people are seeking?<br />We must be comfortable with ambiguity<br />How tolerant are you with not knowing the answer at different points in the process?<br />How tolerant are you for qualitative data and its rich stories and insights?<br />
  16. 16. Stories make culture change happen<br />To start a culture change we need to do two simple things: <br />1. Do dramatic story-worthy thingsthat represent the culture we want to create. Then let other people tell stories about it.<br />2. Find other people who do story-worthy thingsthat represent the culture we want to create. Then tell stories about them. <br />We can change our stories and be changed by them. <br />From A Good Way to Change a Corporate Culture, Peter Bregman, HBR blog<br />
  17. 17. Cultural insights drive culture change & innovation<br />Even in re-creating an ordinary task, a concern about being “rude”<br />Latent behavior that participant was barely aware of<br />Revealed crucial framework that drove biggest opportunities for our client – even if they were unwilling to acknowledge them at first<br />
  18. 18. Thank you!<br />@steveportigal<br /><br />+1-415-894-2001<br />Portigal Consulting<br /><br />