User research and painstorming

One key pillar of Design Thinking is putting customers and users at the centre. The aim of this phase is to determine what the requirements, views and motivations are of all parties involved and understanding these empathically. This is a very important phase that we mustn’t underestimate. At Six Fingers we carry out frequent user surveys to reveal people’s perceptions and examine their assumptions.

It’s dangerous to make assumptions!

Assumptions have been the basis of the demise of many. Not just of the Titanic, but also of major successful companies. As is often said, an assumption is ‘the mother of all fuck-ups’. Yet assumptions are all around us. Just think of the many assumptions you and the people around you make every day. About customers, about what they do and do not want, what they like and dislike. A list we could easily expand on. The question ‘why?’ is the instrument of choice for examining people’s assumptions and challenging existing ideas.

You have to be where the user is

Start looking and thinking like the future user does. Look around you, observe. Just holding interviews is inadequate. People you interview provide answers based on past experience and tend to rationalise behaviour. You have to be where users are. Experience for yourself what they experience. There are many different ways to explore the world around us. Go with your current users, observe them, ensure that you are at locations they visit, and record as much as you can. Make notes, for instance, about small things you notice and film and photograph what you see. The advantage here is that we all have a camera on us these days, so that makes it a lot easier.

Focus on pains and start Painstorming

We examine the current areas of pain on your market and among your customers and reveal pain points in a structured way. We make a distinction between mosquito bites and shark bites. People can solve a mosquito bite themselves, but everyone needs help with a shark bite. Which problems do they experience when using your current products and services? We submerge ourselves in people’s lives. If you want to realise innovation, you have to fall in love with the problems of your (future) users. Innovation fails when it doesn’t solve pain, as it is then not relevant. Painstorming helps you to very clearly identify your customers’ problems and pain. And that is the basis for innovation. An idea without pain is never a solution, thus failing to set the market in motion.

This is just one of the elements of the expedition

Join us on expedition

It’s very difficult to look beyond your own organisation and sector. After all, that’s the environment you know best. Six Fingers is keen to take you on an expedition into another world.

Discover all our methods