Needfinding is watching and asking people to learn about their goals and values to be able to uncover user needs and opportunities for improvements.

Why focus on Needs?

  • Needs last longer than any specific solution
  • Needs provide a roadmap for development
  • Needs spur action

Principles of Needfinding :

  • Look for needs, not solutions
  • Make research and design seamlessly
  • Go to the customers’ environment
  • Look beyond the immediately solvable problem
  • Collect electric forms of data (record)

Need Finding Tools

There are two basic kinds of need-finding tools: observations and interviews. Successful tools often display some basic principles. Understanding the anatomy of a good need-finding tool will help you use the tools to their full potential and even invent some of your own.

At the highest level, good need-finding tools need:
• Good subjects (interesting, open, expert, unusual, observant, etc.)
• Good environments (in situ, friendly, “safe”, etc.)
• Structure and flexibility (have a plan and goals, but pursue new opportunities)
• Great stories (capture images, quotes, etc. that bring your interview to life) • Iterative designs (iterate interview structure or observation techniques based on results)
• Ways to drive past the explicit insights to implicit drivers
• Ways to avoid Hawthorne effect (distortion of behavior due to observation)
• Room for silence – if you listen, they will speak
• Respect your subjects
• Ways to drive past the explicit insights to implicit drivers
• Ways to avoid Hawthorne effect (distortion of behavior due to observation)
• Room for silence – if you listen, they will speak
• Respect your subjects

” Needs are difficult to detect. Uncovering needs reliably requires the organized research effort of Needfinding “

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