“Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.” – John Maeda
This notion of simplicity seems to me to be extremely useful as guidance when we want to build something new and with value.
Such a thing must have real importance to us and is a perception that we have of an experience but it is not in the product or service with which we relate.
When we talk with someone, we hear or read news, often we find that a lot of people expressed unmet needs that are part of a world visible and identifiable.
But behind this field of articulated needs, there are many other needs that people still do not have or have not yet been identified because these people have not yet been confronted with environments that require more of themselves and that makes those needs be highlighted.
For example: the people who are part of my ecosystem initiated a communication path that will awaken in me new needs. This is, now, if I want to communicate with my friends and partners, it is important that I am a user of certain technologies and its applications, otherwise the communication becomes difficult.
Observe and test in context, means change!
Observe the behavior of people in their environment to understand person/environment interaction is one of the best ways to start a desirable process of change.
The change in people always implies an acceptance more or less difficult when this change does not arise on its own initiative, that is, to leave the comfort zone without resistance people have to look for a bigger comfort.
I think that, if people cannot follow the pleasure principle, and the reality requires an effort, they will seek to expend as little effort as possible.
So when we offer new experiences to people we should check their effectiveness and efficiency in the context where these experiences must happen and not try to test them in chosen groups as representative of trends.
So in order to reduce the resistance to change we have to observe the daily life of people and analyze the interactions that people have with their environment and determine what are the limits of intensity of change that we think will be acceptable.
The ways to find solutions to people’s problems begin with the observation of interactions and these problems may be unmet but clearly identified, articulated, not by difficulty of framing in the context or difficult to verbalize and hidden needs that may not be felt today but will exist as a result of something introduced.
To observe the needs of the people are not restricted to the identification of goods or services that lack, it is in particular, observe the behavior of people when they interact with their environment.
Empathize with people that we want to observe is the only way to get a result that satisfies our intentions.
To facilitate the observation of these interactions questionnaires and informal conversations or even the ancillary frameworks of observation with relevant items may not be enough.
To capture the information transmitted with the help of new technologies, videos and other types of records becomes crucial to get good results, because this allows the preservation of natural environments, i.e., unfiltered environments by our intervention, in addition to allow viewing via different angles (different observers).
Understand and observe potential users of innovative products and services that solve many of the problems of the people requires an interdisciplinary work and a lot of creativity because the solutions have to be desired by consumers/users, be achievable and economically viable for the supplies.
These solutions are found in the universe of “what might be” and not in the universe of “what is”.
I think observation has two important moments in the course of the development of an idea, to feed the creation of a solution and the observation of the interaction of people with the prototype of the solution.
It is this second trip to the world of interactions that might arise some questions:
Does the product or service created fully meet the needs of the people?
Once in interaction with the solution which is the desirable and consequent behavior?
The extent to which the observation held allows me to predict future behaviors?
Why create prototypes to test?
“Prototyping to test is the iterative generation of low-resolution artifacts that probe different aspects of your design solution or design space. The fundamental way we test our prototypes is by letting users experience them and react to them. In creating prototypes to test with users you have the opportunity to examine your solution decisions as well as your perception of your users and their needs.”
Final note: We know how important it is to the notion of conformity bias in people and the weight that the culture has on choices so here is the question:
Does the proposed solution that we see often are in fact the solution to the problems or just part of a route to a destination suggested by others?
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