Is our Service Design work more intuition or data driven?

Insight Clash is a free-of charge event organized by PTBRiO (Polish Association of Market and Opinion Researchers ) located in Warsaw city in Poland. It aims to clash different, sometimes contradictory opinions. This time the room was full of designers as the topic considered mostly them. We explored one question: Intuition or data – how to make a decision in the area of design? Three presenters shared their opinions: Katarzyna Gawlik (Experience Design Manager at Deloitte Digital CE), Marcin Zaremba (Chief Product Officer at Synerise), Katarzyna Młynarczyk (CEO of Socjomania).

I will share with you main insights.

Katarzyna Gawlik was very into research and collecting data. She explained design process by Gartner graph joining design thinking, lean startup and agile approach for MVP production.

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She understands important role of data collection and research throughout the design process.

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Depending on the stage of the process she recommended the following research approach:

In the Ideation phase, research should be:

  • Representative ( quantitative)
  • Differentiated ( qualitative)
  • Wide scope
  • In-depth

Then, in the Design phase, research should be :

  • Quick and frequent
  • Sufficient not extensive
  • Cheap e.g. corridor test in your company

Finally, in the Development phase, it is believed that research is no longer needed as everything has been already tested, but it is a trap which we should avoid. Research in this phase should be:

  • Constant
  • Inexpensive

Marcin Zaremba represented quite a contradictory approach. He opened my mind towards the advantage of more intuitive thinking. His definition of intuition as unconscious data shed a different light on this phenomenon.

He raised an interesting perspective that “we don’t know how much of reality we’re modelling in the system” and that’s why we cannot base our judgements only on what is visible or possible to catch straightaway. His topic of speech was, “what data does not tell you”:

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If we based our work only on data, in Africa there would not be a mobile market. The research conducted before mobile companies invested there said that nobody used phones. Intuition was needed in this case.

As Robert Trivers, American sociobiologist, said: “we hide reality from our conscious minds to better hide it from onlookers”. The only part of us which has access to reality is  our intuition. We will never be able to experience reality consciously so no research will provide us believable data.

What is more, taking into consideration the true needs of the consumer as the Human Centered Design approach assumes, we would need to create only products/ services which are free-of-charge and work for its users exactly as they want it to. It would also be easy and fast to use. But in reality no company can provide all of it. We are hypocrites and we need to admit it ☺

What is the solution?

First use intuition, then data.

In practice it may mean, first do qualitative research, then quantitative.

Finally, these are the books Marcin recommends:

Katarzyna Młynarczyk, showed the role of data in the design process, sharing her interests in netnography – the ethnographic online research technique used to understand social interactions created by Robert Kozinets.

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This is how, the authors speaks about the method itself:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8axfYomJn4

Kasia proposed to use netnography as a tactic/ framework in design process:

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Here is the translation of the text in the picture above:

Combination – tactical use of data:

Attitude -> Design Thinking/ System Thinking

Methodology/ Strategy ->

Zrzut ekranu 2019-04-09 o 22.27.40

Framework/Tactic -> Netnography

An additional takeaway of the event was a Mentimeter tool which allows event participants and organizers to exchange ideas anonymously in the form of an online survey with results available in real time.

The organizers asked us a question via this tool at the beginning of the event and repeated it at the end, comparing the results. The question was: Data or Intuition? How to make a decision in the area of design.

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At the end of the meeting, data was still the dominant response but the percent of votes for intuition increased significantly.

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And what about you, is using data more important in decision making? Or is it intuition? Let me know in the comments ☺

 

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