Following the Design Thinking process in the earlier articles we will now have a look on the second step in the process. Observe or in some charts also mentioned as Research you will get out to the user and collect data.
This step can be splitted into two major parts. The first one will be the one you can do as team learning and preparation. The second one will be the observation and learning with the user und customer.
Team of experts
You need to create a team of subject matter experts. Your design thinking team which consists of several people and different backgrounds should start to learn the topic they will work with. Start learn what you need to know about the problem and the product you need to work on. You need to get the expert on that topic. This also consists to identify and observe available solutions and what are they made for. Ask the question what is this solution for and why does it not solve the problem you have.
Over all you need create and 360 degree view on the topic, explore available solutions and people involved in it. Check who is in contact with it.
Stakeholder and Customer
This will lead you to the next step. You need to clarify and define stakeholder and target customers for the solution you will work with. If you know all people involved in the solution you need to start to think about the question you want to ask. What is the data you want to know.
Second part in the Observe and Explore step in the design thinking process. Now you need to go out. You need to explore the world and collect as much data as you can. But this needs some preparation. First you need to define the group of people you want to observe and to interview them. Define your target group of customers. Think about requirements, wishes, what is necessary for them, Define some key points what is important for them and for you. If you fine with that you need to think about they way on how to collect information and data.
Define your way for exploration
Interviews, personas, customer journeys, Five Why´s and many more methods are available now to collect data. Create a plan what you want to do and how. Prepare targets and goals you want to achieve. If you want to do interviews it is important to define some key questions. Many people will answer your questions very simple and very often in a good way. But this is not what you need. You need to drill deeper. This is very important. You need to get deep insights and critical voices. They will help you to prepare the next steps. Also keep in mind to choose the correct areas and atmosphere you want to do your interview.
Document your work
It can be very useful to take fotos and videos during your work. In an interview pictures can tell you a lot more than the answer. you will get impressions, feelings and a lot out of body language while you do the interview.
Prepare your team, prepare the tasks. Define the way you want to do your research. Prepare the observations. Then you need to do it. Go out there and start collecting information and data. Start your observations and the journey.