Properly defining problems is a crucial step of the design process that many companies have difficulty practicing. Many design teams are great at gathering observations
through research methods, but they have difficulty obtaining a clear sense of what research results mean, turning those observations into insights, and deciding on which problems are worth solving.
This lack of understanding often results in projects with no clear direction and products or services that seem to have no clear purpose. In this workshop, you’ll learn methods for performing research and making sense of results. Specifically, we’ll cover techniques for interviewing customers, affinity mapping, empathy mapping, and defining problems in the form of clear, concise problem statements. The primary goal is to demonstrate how problem framing and design synthesis can help make sure your product or service is solving a well-defined user problem or meeting a demonstrated need.
WHO IS THIS CLASS FOR?
• Designers of all kinds who need a better understanding of research methods and synthesis
• Product managers involved in turning research insights into features
• Entrepreneurs who seek a deeper understanding of their users
• Marketing professionals who seek a new way to understand customers
WHO IS TEACHING?
Thomas Wendt is a design strategy and research consultant based in New York City, specializing in user research, experience strategy, design thinking, and innovation. He works with clients to help them better understand their customers through rigorous research methods, framing of key user needs and problem areas, and providing structure to ideation sessions. He has worked with companies including American Express, DIRECTV, Capital One, IBM, General Assembly, Smith+Beta, and a number of agencies and startups.
Thomas frequently teaches, writes, and speaks on a variety of topics including philosophy and design, information architecture, lean process and theory, design research, and design thinking. Presentations have been delivered at domestic and international conferences, and his articles have been published in both academic journals and practitioner publications.
Thomas is author of a book entitled Design for Dasein, which deals with the relationship between (post)phenomenology, experience design, and design thinking. He currently holds an adjunct instructor position at New York University.
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