I’ve had a personal design project I’ve been working on and I kept procrastinating on doing the user research part of it.
This past weekend I made up my mind to start work on the research, I planned to conduct some user interviews. I had to prepare the interview questions and select participants to interview. The weekend gone, Monday gone, I still had not settled on the participants because of certain reasons.
Rather than waste time further, I set off to interview 5 of my colleagues else another week would be gone and I’ll still be making mention of doing research. I met with them and got reasonable amounts of feedback to kick-start the next phase of the project.
I learnt a thing. You want to do something, stop thinking it, stop researching it, just go do it.
Later in the day, was an in-house design session on setting up design principles to guide the project we are working on currently. We did some real reasoning as to what we stand for as a brand, our products reflecting that, and giving optimum value to users of our products.
After that was an interesting argument on doing research to validate an idea, before even building anything at all. It’s always good to listen to other people’s perspectives on such topics but what I learnt is that assumptions make up a huge part of an idea and are binary — Either 0 or 1.
To be sure you have more 1s than 0s, it makes sense to do user research no matter how little so you can be sure to build products people really want.
Another key lesson I learnt is that as a designer, you should question everything. No amount of question is too much. You want to question especially the intent, motive and purpose behind your solutions.
You question to the point of questioning the existence of that solution/idea, because it would be very wrong for you to build a solution and after start defining or looking for the problem the solution is solving.
Don’t be so caught up in the excitement of your solution or idea that you fail to see beyond your nose, moreover, at times a solution/idea can be so interesting but it’s still not right for your project and you have to discard such despite its awesomeness.