Observation will influence the way you think about your customers and will help you understand them better. It will inform your point of view and help to validate or invalidate your assumptions. But, like anything, there are right ways and not-so-right ways to observe the world around you.
Think about this: you sit down to a cup of coffee or tea. How would you open your sugar packet? Okay, feel free to read on. We’ll get back to the sugar packet in a moment.
Observation will influence the way you think about your customers and will help you understand them better. Observation will change the way you innovate. But, just like anything, there are right ways and not-so-right ways to observe the world around you.
As you watch your subjects (your potential customers), your goal is to discover their latent needs, desires, and ambitions – the kinds of things they may not even know they need or want. These are often things that people would not be able to tell you they want. Does the runner run just to get fit? Perhaps he is running so that he doesn’t feel guilty eating pizza on the weekends. Watch him for a while and on different occasions, and you just might find out.
A good way to think about observation is to act like a fly on the wall, observing people in their natural habitat, finding the key moments in their lives. The decisions your ...