The Value of Post-Its and Asking Why

Post by Chi Hung

photo (17)

The empathy map provided good resources that we could use for creating the POV.  By running through the colorful post-its populating the 4 quadrants, we brainstormed on all the possible needs of the particular user segment.  Having one person at the board writing down all the brainstormed solutions has it perks – it was fast and efficient.  We then elaborated more on the brainstormed needs through interview notes and conversation transcripts, before proceeding to synthesize the important needs into different categories.

Trying to delve into the ‘insights’ relating to the ‘needs’ was a slightly trickier affair.  We deployed the ‘why’ method.  By constantly probing deeper into the ‘need’ by asking ‘why-s’ repeatedly, we were able to unravel the different layers and nuances of the stories.  For example, one of the needs of a particular user segment was to gain a meaningful place in society.  While this statement holds truth, it felt light and too seemingly obvious.  We then asked the ‘why’ – e.g. Why do they want a purposeful position in society, i.e. a job?  Because they want to feel valued.  Why do they need to feel valued? etc.  Through iterations, we were able to land on the insight that this particular user segment was motivated by shame and embarrassment cast upon by societal members.

Once this part was completed, we rephrased the wording to describe our user segment. Having descriptive adjective words describing the users proved to important as it allows for the audience to immediately form a mental image of the user in their minds, and to further evoke empathy from the users.

Throughout this process, we believe that using writing our thoughts out on colorful post-its and pasting them on the board helped us tremendously with our thought process.  Apart from lending some form of structure and clarity, the post-its allowed us to organize our notes accordingly by moving the post-its around the board as needed.

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