What's really being said?

Interpret the insights you've gathered from your social change user interviews by avoiding simply parroting your service user's requests.

Interpretting the words

From your user interviews and observations you will have gathered both data and opinions. It's tempting to listen and act on what your users have said without any interpretation, labelling it co-design and stating that you are meeting the needs of your beneficiaries in the way that they have asked for those needs to be met.

But, consider this:

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” - Henry Ford (maybe, probably not)

For Eugene Wei, this quote throws up two questions:

  1. Which customers am I speaking to? Who are they? If I am speaking to jockeys the answer, "I want faster horses", may need to be interpretted differently to a commuter discussing what would help them complete a journey faster.

  2. How do I interpret what the customer is saying? The customer may tell you they want faster horses, but does this mean you should genetically modify your horses, or inject them with steroids, in order to meet the needs of your customers? After considering the deeper meaning of the words, you may reach the conclution that what they are really saying is – "The horse is too slow a means of transport".

This allows you to see the challenge you are solving as:

How can I help a commuter travel from A to B faster?

You've understood the core of the problem for your customer and by addressing this question you will significantly improve the current commuter experience.

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