When you are interested in a new field but don't know much about it, and want to discover and get inspired.
1. Explore brand new horizons
Gather with your team to generate hypothesis around the needs and behaviours of a defined audience group, and ideate on what type of solutions could address those needs. Combine existing knowledge around that specific market with personal intuitions, clustering the emerging hypothesis into key assumptions and initial concepts to be verified during the research.
Techniques like what if provocations or how might we statements may help come up with hypothesis to work on.
2. Carefully prepare to go in the field
Plan a field study to discover more about your target audience and challenge, validate or refine the initial hypothesis. Building a plan help define a goal and set of methodologies for your research, a recruiting strategy to find the right participants, as well as key locations and timeline. Once it’s done, you will know all the logistic details needed to conduct the fieldwork.
Be creative in your recruiting to engage highly-motivated participants. Social networks and online traces may help
3. Turn the assumptions into questions
The in-depth interview is the most precious technique whenever you are conducting a research aimed at understanding user values, met or unmet needs and less known behaviours. Write down a detailed interview guide to consolidate a structure for the individual interviews, and be ready to build on each participant’s answers to develop a deeper and deeper understanding.
4. Cluster your insights around user-types
When back from the research, map out all your insights and the key differences in the behaviours you encountered. You can use personas to group participants with similar characteristics and tell stories about them, describing in detail their approach, needs, problems, and potentially also their existing journeys.
5. Craft the best strategy to move forward
Translate the needs and behaviours into design opportunities and start generating ideas for new services or service features. Building a map of all the emerged opportunities helps giving an overview of all the interesting directions to work on, and reflect on the overall strategy before further ideating or developing one specific opportunity.