Of course I don’t really mean that. Research is essential, we just need a better name for what we do at the beginning of a project. A word to change the way we think about it, and that isn’t hyperbole, or at the other extreme, clinical.
And Personas, that’s another horrible word, isn’t it?
You can have all the stats and charts in the world, but if you don’t understand them, can’t empathise with the person that lives that life; then what’s the point?
We do need start with finding things out, to make the charts, and split up the data and then we do call them Personas; but we also need to help you to experience the person bit.
We like to do this by getting senior cross-departmental teams together, and making them do things – what specifically we task them with depends on the organisation’s culture, digital maturity and operational factors.
We find this approach breaks down departmental silos, to generate really interesting ideas to solve specific customer / citizen needs. One workshop can unearth a lot of needs. This can be part a lean UX approach for Agile, or fed into a strategy. Or a bit of both, depending on the organisation.
It’s certainly not dull, though.