Design Research

Rites Explorers

Thinkers Co Blog - Design Research

It is known the only way of measuring the success of an idea (in terms of innovation) is that someone demands it, your idea can be sexy, cool, be displayed in a thousand media … but do not fool yourself. If it does not bring value to your customer, you have a problem.

To not fall into problems of ‘navel-ism’ we must listen, observe, and understand our user. Said that way, it sounds very easy, but the problem at hand, and that almost always we obviate when hunting insights, is to focus on the people rituals since they are the holy grail of any investigation.

A ritual is a rough diamond.

A ritual is a series of actions performed mainly for its symbolic value. These actions are based on some belief and condition the life of our character. They are rules self-impose on ourselves to make more bearable the complexity of our world.

If you can see this jewel, you already have a great starting point. The rituals are the Rosetta Stone of our user, define the behaviors and motivations of our character. The greatest explorers of rituals are the ethnographers. In the world of innovation, we should learn some tools that these professionals use in their day to day for their studies and apply them to our ideas generation processes.

At Thinkers Co., we use some domesticated tools from the world of ethnography that can help us discover what our user really is, such as the Persona tool or the Empathy Map. Other tools such as Shadowing, Field Trip, or Safari will help us to know in-depth the context of the person we are studying.

We must see beyond, put ourselves in the shoes of our client. For that reason, we should not only try to understand him as a person but understand his ecosystem. The only way to do that is going where he is, go out to meet him. Enclosed in our house or office, we will hardly discover our user.

As the great designer Achille Castiglioni said: “design demands observation”.

An exercise:

Take an everyday object and try to adapt it to the rituals of your user. What new solutions appear?

Published at 10/05/2018

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