Design thinkingAs solution designers, we are full of ideas but rarely do we step back to discover whether we are actually solving the right problem.  We are excited to show off our cool idea.  Yet observing customers with a beginner’s mind is actually the best way for us to design solutions for the problems that need our inventions the most.

Customer Discovery takes us into the field to observe our users in their own environment, experiencing the pains and joys of completing the tasks we want to help them with.  We ask them a lot questions:  Why do they do things the way they do?  What does success mean for them?  We go deep so that we can develop empathy.  We talk to outliers to find people who approach the task differently.

Mostly, we listen and seek to understand.

From these insights, we develop a list of pain points, potential problems we could solve.  And then we prioritize –   where do our customers need us the most and where can we deliver the most value?  From there we brainstorm – if we could solve that pain point, what would the ideal solution be?