Human Insights Tools: Discover
What is Discover?
The discover phase includes a set of activities designed to help you shift perspective from that of a provider to that of a client. Discover activities explore clients’ experiences and clearly define challenges so that potential solutions can be found. Discover reflects practices used by market researchers, human-centered designers and behavioral design specialists. It can be used either to uncover existing service issues (e.g., low take-up, high attrition) from participants’ perspectives or to create entirely new approaches based on valuable, tested insights.
Our Human Insights Approach
Our human insights approach involves three iterative phases. In discover, we identify a real, addressable challenge facing an organization’s clients, along with the behavioral or environmental barriers that helped create that problem. The diagram below represents the human insights process and how discover plays a role.
Before You Start
Before starting the Discover activities, please take a minute to read this 1-page document with instructions on how to make the most efficient use of our Human Insights tools.
Frame the Challenge
Framing the challenge allows you to spell out the specific problem you want to solve. A well-framed challenge provides a starting point for the entire process. It guides your investigations in the discovery process and puts you on a path to innovative solutions. In this initial attempt, your challenge will represent a hypothesis that can, and should, evolve.
- Click here to download the guide to carry out Frame the Challenge
- Click here to view an example of Frame the Challenge from one of the Smart Growth project’s organizations
Draft a Journey Map
Journey mapping is a process for visualizing people’s experiences as they interact with a product or service, solve a problem or complete a task. If you’re trying to explore opportunities to improve an existing product or service, it’s important to start by spelling out what that experience looks like, from the client’s perspective, in its current state. By mapping the client’s journey, you create an understanding of your project elements from their point of view and you can use that understanding to identify opportunities for improvement.
- Click here to download the guide to carry out Draft a Journey Map
- Click here to view an example of Draft a Journey Map from one of the organizations that participated in the Smart Growth project
Barriers are the experiences or events that happen along a client’s journey that help explain why the challenge exists. Understanding the barriers clients face will help you identify, and eventually prioritize, areas for brainstorming in the design. If possible, try to work through this activity with a journey map that is related to your challenge. That will help to pinpoint exactly where barriers are happening and see how they relate with the full experience. If you don’t have a journey map, you can still complete this activity as a thought exercise.
- Click here to download the guide to carry out Diagnose Barriers
- Click here to view an example of Diagnose Barriers from one of the organizations that participated in the Smart Growth project
Conduct Discovery Interviews
The goal for conducting interviews is to seek information from clients that will help refine the challenge, journey map, diagnosis of successes and barriers, and logic model. Interviews can help to formulate insights and develop hypotheses about clients’ needs and their experiences with your product or service. Gathering this information cross-checks your own perceptions about how the project operates against the client’s perspective. Throughout the interview process, it is vital to maintain an open mind and a willingness to hear things with which you may disagree. The goal is to find out what the client experiences.
- Click here to download the guide to carry out Conduct Discovery Interviews
- Click here to view an example of Conduct Discovery Interviews from one of the organizations that participated in the Smart Growth project
Decide on Next Steps
Congratulations! You’ve completed a phase of the human insights innovation process. Now’s your chance to reflect on what you’ve learned and decide how to move forward as you build on the work completed so far.
- Click here to download the guide to carry out Decide on Next Steps
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