From Whitney’s blog, 10-18-12, link here.
Quick Take: BE OBSESSED BY THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION!
Design is both problem and solution; to create the right solution, you have to be working on the right problem.
3 principles of problem solving:
- Process: Define the problem before trying to solve it.
- People: Ask questions to find the deepest truth
- Be obsessed with the problem, not the solution
Before asking how to build, ask what is the right thing to build. This is problem setting.
You need 2 conditions to successfully solve a UX problem:
- A gap between the desired state and the current state
- A problem owner who wants to fix it. (I find this is frequently an issue: the problem owner wants to solve their own personal problem instead of a user’s problem)
The problem is out there, Get Out Of The Building and talk to people! Try one-on-one:
- Surveys (though these can be done online also)
- Card sorts
- Diary Studies
Another of my personal problems: business leaders think market research/focus groups and user research/testing are the same thing. But:
- Market research > what people like
- User research > what people do
(Here Whitney goes into a section about how to conduct user interviews that I won’t summarize here—her link to a full post about it is here.)
There are forms of user research that don’t rely on users being in the room:
- Empathy maps Link here
- 5 Whys (ask Why? 5 times about a problem to get the root issue) Link here
- Fishbone diagram Link here
Create concise, specific and measurable problem statements: Who needs what because why. Then get the team to agree on these and let them lead the design and dev process.
Or try the 5 Ws–who? what? when? where? why? (and maybe, how?)
Be a good listener! It requires:
- Listening (not just hearing)
What’s your problem? What’s your purpose? Life’s too short to run down the wrong path–for your or your org or YOUR USERS!