What is Needfinding?

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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