Find out what they want

The initial brief from the kick-off meeting are often weak, unclear, and incomplete.

As product designers, we have an opportunity to add real value on a project from the start by helping define the problem.

At it’s heart, user experience design is about better serving today’s connected consumers.

— Atul Prd, User experience is not about pretty interface

Every project consists of a large pool of team – developers, marketers, sales team, managers, clients, board, customer support, business analyst, and more. All of these team need your research to make business, design, and engineering decisions.

So find out what they want to know and how they think about the research problem.

  • Find out what they know about the problem
  • How it is being experienced?
  • What’s been tried already?
  • What will happen if nothing is done?
  • Why this problem exists?
  • Why try to solve it now?
  • What success will look like?
  • What are each person’s needs, wishes and concerns?
  • What are the pressure points?
  • Identify any constraints
  • Discover the timeline and the budget
  • Get the background and history

Our goal with this is to gain clarity & alignment throughout the team.

Hattip: When you interview these people, you’ll inevitably collect a bunch of other research ideas, wants, and needs. Make a list of them, and pass it through your project manager and the stakeholders to determine the priorities.

Don’t try to tackle every need in the same study — that’s a recipe for disaster.

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