IDEO HCD Toolkit: Hear
As the toolkit is meant to, the Hear section is very focused on working with folks in under resourced areas of the world, but I found a few principles which are easily extended to a process working with a broader group. The goal of the Hear phase is to gain a strong understanding of an audience's needs, barriers, and constraints.
- Engage in context - While this section is called Hear, context is the reoccuring theme. The way a person presents a narrative, can differ from actual observation, especially when a person is learning a new skill or process. So, hear with all five senses, and hear in the actual environment a person will be operating in.
- Be qualitative - Seek a broad understanding. Work to understand a person's social, political, economic, and cultural oppertunities as well as barriers. Analyze the relational dynamics in a system (eg., people, places, objects, and institiutions).
- Testing - This is the chance to validate assumptions and preconceptions, be very intentional about letting any through without verfiying them.
- Framing - Challenges and statements should all be framed from constituents point of view.
- Inspiration - Look for inspiration in new places, search for similar problems in different contexts. The concept seems so incredibly straight forward, but rarely to I take the time to intentionally think about parallels of a design problem. The toolkit gives the example of hospital staff visiting a hardware store to gain insight about organizing supplies.
The toolkit goes in to excellent detail on how to identifying a challenge, recognizing existing knowledge, research, interview, immerse, and document.October 17 2011