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What's Your Problem? Putting Purpose Back into Your Projects

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What's Your Problem? Putting Purpose Back into Your Projects

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“What do you do?” has become the standard opening line for getting to know someone. But if you were asked, “Why do you do what you do?” how would you answer? We are too narrowly focused on developing solutions for problems that we don’t understand, don’t care about, or worst of all, don’t actually exist. Life is too short to waste our time expertly creating something that matters to no one. Learn to find your “why.” Discover interviewing techniques to build greater empathy with your users, synthesizing techniques to uncover their underlying inefficiencies and frustrations, and tips to continually draw inspiration and long-term product vision from their lives.

“What do you do?” has become the standard opening line for getting to know someone. But if you were asked, “Why do you do what you do?” how would you answer? We are too narrowly focused on developing solutions for problems that we don’t understand, don’t care about, or worst of all, don’t actually exist. Life is too short to waste our time expertly creating something that matters to no one. Learn to find your “why.” Discover interviewing techniques to build greater empathy with your users, synthesizing techniques to uncover their underlying inefficiencies and frustrations, and tips to continually draw inspiration and long-term product vision from their lives.

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What's Your Problem? Putting Purpose Back into Your Projects

  1. 1. What’s Your Problem? Putting Purpose Back into Your Projects ❦ @whitneyhess http://whitneyhess.com whitney@whitneyhess.com Whitney Hess
  2. 2. http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/genesis/multimedia/gen_team_15278.html
  3. 3. http://www.thoughtfarmer.com/clients/intranet-case-studies/continuum/
  4. 4. http://www.flickr.com/photos/londonlooks/5563391691/
  5. 5. http://thisweekfordinner.com/2009/07/18/time-to-swif-swif-with-the-swiffer-wet-jet/
  6. 6. http://thisweekfordinner.com/2009/07/18/time-to-swif-swif-with-the-swiffer-wet-jet/
  7. 7. http://thisweekfordinner.com/2009/07/18/time-to-swif-swif-with-the-swiffer-wet-jet/
  8. 8. Design is the problem (not just the solution)
  9. 9. Principles of Problem Solving Process Define the problem before trying to solve it People Ask questions to root out the truth Purpose Be obsessed with the problem, not the solution
  10. 10. Process Define the problem before trying to solve it
  11. 11. “If I had one hour to save the world, I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and 5 minutes finding the solution.” Albert Einstein
  12. 12. http://www.docstoc.com/docs/25945866/Carbon-Footprint-Calculation-Detail
  13. 13. Problem Setting > Solving
  14. 14. What is a Problem? Gap between Problem owner current and wants to do & desired something state about it
  15. 15. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ljmcallister/1012818172/
  16. 16. http://www.flickr.com/photos/boiselighting/3604789822/
  17. 17. http://mommyblogstoronto.typepad.com/bloghers_act_canada/2007/09/unwrapped.html
  18. 18. Who is your target audience?
  19. 19. People Ask questions to root out the truth
  20. 20. ﬔe problem is out there, not at your desk.
  21. 21. User Research ✦ Interviews ✦ Observations ✦ Surveys ✦ Card sorts ✦ Diary studies ✦ Etc.
  22. 22. Market User vs. Research Research What people like What people do
  23. 23. User Research ✦ Interviews ✦ Observations ✦ Surveys ✦ Card sorts ✦ Diary studies ✦ Etc.
  24. 24. To determine the user’s real problem: 1. Find representative users 2. Ask questions 3. Listen closely 4. Write it all down 5. Paraphrase to confirm understanding
  25. 25. User Interviews Lifestyle Questions Tell me a bit about yourself. Where do you live? Where are you from? What do you do? What kind of home do you live in? What do you use for transportation? Special diet?
  26. 26. User Interviews Context Questions How did you become eco-conscious? How long has it been? How do you conserve? Since when? What are the obstacles in your life that prevent you from conserving more? What is the value of being eco-conscious?
  27. 27. User Interviews Influence Questions Where do you get your information on environmental issues/conserving? What eco-conscious or environmental sites/blogs/publications do you read? What environmental organizations do you belong to? Why those? How did you hear about them?
  28. 28. User Interviews Social Questions With whom do you share environmental info that you find? How? Tell me about a recent conversation you’ve had with a friend or family member about the environment or “going green” What do you think is preventing your friends or family from doing more?
  29. 29. User Interviews Familiarity Questions What do you know about carbon offsets? Have you purchased them? Have you calculated your carbon footprint? Where? How?
  30. 30. User Interviews Web Use Questions What other websites do you frequent? What social networking sites do you use? Why these? How oen? How many friends/followers? What do you do most oen on each site? What was the last thing you did on <site>?
  31. 31. User Interviews Tech Use Questions What kind of computer do you own? When did you buy it? Who else uses it? How do you connect to the Internet? What kind of mobile phone do you have? When did you buy it? What do you use it for? What other devices do you own?
  32. 32. Personas
  33. 33. Impractical advice http://www.mymothermode.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/diapers.jpg
  34. 34. Guilt trips http://cdn.babble.com/famecrawler/files/2011/05/playdate.jpg
  35. 35. One-handed browsing
  36. 36. ﬔe Real Problem ✦ Impractical advice ✦ Guilt trips ✦ One-handed browsing
  37. 37. But I can’t talk with users... http://garryregier.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/chained-to-desk-computer-grey.jpg
  38. 38. Empathy Map Created by Dave Gray of XPLANE – Gamestorming pg. 65
  39. 39. Empathy Map http://www.cccc.org/blogs/john/2012/02/10/empathy-maps-a-way-to-understand-your-donors-and-beneficiaries/
  40. 40. 5 Whys Problem Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Created by Sakichi Toyoda – Gamestorming pg. 141-143
  41. 41. Teacher 5 Whys Management usage is low Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?
  42. 42. Teacher 5 Whys Management usage is low Why? ﬔey aren’t logging in Why? Why? Why? Why?
  43. 43. Teacher 5 Whys Management usage is low Why? ﬔey aren’t logging in ﬔey can’t remember Why? their credentials Why? Why? Why?
  44. 44. Teacher 5 Whys Management usage is low Why? ﬔey aren’t logging in ﬔey can’t remember Why? their credentials ﬔey aren’t using it Why? enough Why? Why?
  45. 45. Teacher 5 Whys Management usage is low Why? ﬔey aren’t logging in ﬔey can’t remember Why? their credentials ﬔey aren’t using it Why? enough It’s intimidating and Why? unclear Why?
  46. 46. Teacher 5 Whys Management usage is low Why? ﬔey aren’t logging in ﬔey can’t remember Why? their credentials ﬔey aren’t using it Why? enough It’s intimidating and Why? unclear System terminology Why? doesn’t match theirs
  47. 47. Fishbone Diagram Cause Cause Effect Cause Cause http://pri-network.org/training/fishbone.html
  48. 48. Fishbone Diagram Cause Cause Cause Cause Cause Effect Cause Cause Cause Cause Cause http://pri-network.org/training/fishbone.html
  49. 49. Fishbone Diagram Low % manual adjustments http://pri-network.org/training/fishbone.html
  50. 50. Fishbone Diagram Te ac he rs ar en ’t lo ggi ng in Low % manual adjustments http://pri-network.org/training/fishbone.html
  51. 51. Fishbone Diagram Te ac he rs ar en ’t lo ggi ng in Low % manual ng adjustments ki t a n ’ t mtme en jus ar d rs al a henu ac a Te m http://pri-network.org/training/fishbone.html
  52. 52. Fishbone Diagram Te ac Can’t remember credentials he rs ar en ’t Don’t have time lo ggi ng in Low % manual ng adjustments ki t a n ’ t mtme en jus ar d rs al a henu ac a Te m http://pri-network.org/training/fishbone.html
  53. 53. Fishbone Diagram Te ac Can’t remember credentials he rs ar en ’t Don’t have time lo ggi ng in Low % manual ng adjustments Don’t know they should be ki t a n ’ t mtme en jus Don’t know how ar d rs al a henu ac a Te m http://pri-network.org/training/fishbone.html
  54. 54. Fishbone Diagram Te ac Can’t remember credentials he Ha rs ve ar n’ en tu se ’t d Don’t have time lo it fo Li m Ta ggi ra it timed ke lo s ng wh ng to in e lab ile o Low % manual ng adjustments Don’t know they should be ki t a n ’ t mtme en jus Don’t know how ar d rs al a henu ac a Te m http://pri-network.org/training/fishbone.html
  55. 55. Fishbone Diagram Te ac Can’t remember credentials he Ha rs ve ar n’ en tu se ’t d Don’t have time lo it fo Li m Ta ggi ra it timed ke lo s ng wh ng to in e lab ile o Low % manual ng adjustments Don’t know they should be ki t a n t mtme l g ua ni n ’ an ai m tr en jus r e ad e ive Don’t know how ar d n’t re c rs al a henu id t D n’ er to ac a d b Di e m rd out r ’t i m ing e n o ha e o ur Te m n tra T fig Ca http://pri-network.org/training/fishbone.html
  56. 56. Fishbone Diagram Te ac Can’t remember credentials he Ha rs ve ar n’ en tu se ’t d Don’t have time lo it fo Li m Ta ggi ra it timed ke lo s ng wh ng to in e lab ile o Low % manual ng adjustments Don’t know they should be ki t a n t mtme l g ua ni n ’ an ai m tr en jus r e ad e ive Don’t know how ar d n’t re c rs al a henu id t D n’ er to ac a d b Di e m rd out r ’t i m ing e n o ha e o ur Te m n tra T fig Ca Setting is buried http://pri-network.org/training/fishbone.html
  57. 57. Fishbone Diagram Te ac Can’t remember credentials he Ha rs ve ar n’ en tu se ’t d Don’t have time lo it fo Li m Ta ggi ra it timed ke lo s ng wh ng to in e lab ile o Low % manual ng adjustments Don’t know they should be ki t a n t mtme l g ua ni n ’ an ai m tr en jus r e ad e ive Don’t know how ar d n’t re c rs al a henu id t D n’ er to ac a d b Di e m rd out r ’t i m ing e n o ha e o ur Te m n tra T fig Ca Setting is buried http://pri-network.org/training/fishbone.html
  58. 58. Purpose Be obsessed with the problem, not the solution
  59. 59. Question assumptions
  60. 60. Be more ambitious http://www.slideshare.net/bokardo/metricsdriven-design-4317168
  61. 61. Cra a Problem Statement ✦ Concise ✦ Specific ✦ Measurable
  62. 62. Problem Statement Format Who needs what because why .
  63. 63. Casual environmentalists need creative ways to conserve without the guilt trip because they have constraints on adapting their lifestyle.
  64. 64. Teachers in non-sales regions need an in-depth onboarding process because they aren’t using critical settings.
  65. 65. 5Ws Technique ✦ Who? ✦ What? ✦ Where? ✦ When? ✦ Why?
  66. 66. So Skills: ✦ Listening ✦ Empathy ✦ Connection ✦ Facilitation ✦ Persuasion ✦ Patience
  67. 67. “How can I help you be more successful?”
  68. 68. ﬔe persistence of the problem is purpose
  69. 69. Principles of Problem Solving Process Define the problem before trying to solve it People Ask questions to root out the truth Purpose Be obsessed with the problem, not the solution
  70. 70. Life is too short to waste it solving the wrong problems
  71. 71. ﬔank you. Whitney Hess @whitneyhess http://whitneyhess.com whitney@whitneyhess.com
  72. 72. Further Reading Building Shared Understanding of Wicked Problems http://www.cognexus.org/Rotman-interview_SharedUnderstanding.pdf You Are Solving ﬔe Wrong Problem http://www.azarask.in/blog/post/the-wrong-problem/ A New Make Mantra: A Statement of Design Intent http://www.markboulton.co.uk/journal/comments/a-new-make-mantra-a-statement-of-design-intent 17 Types of Interviewing Questions http://www.portigal.com/blog/seventeen-types-of-interviewing-questions/ My Best Advice to Conducting User Interviews http://whitneyhess.com/blog/2010/07/07/my-best-advice-for-conducting-user-interviews/

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