It’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice!
There are four challenges that you should complete for this lesson and that will really help as you build your business ideas (and later, your business plan):
- Observational research
- Ethnographic interviews
- Needs analysis
- Persona building
Challenge 1: Do Observational Research
The first challenge is to observe your customers interacting with a product or service like yours/similar to yours to learn more about their needs and their behaviours.
Step 1: Identify at least three places where you might see your target customer interacting with your products or services.
Step 2: Pick two of these places, and spend some time observing the behaviours of your potential customers. Take detailed notes. You should be there for more than 30 minutes.
Step 3: Using your raw notes, identify three key insights from the behaviours you noticed.
Step 4: Write down suggested explanations for those three insights/behaviours.
Use this worksheet to help you map out your observational research plan.
Observational Research Plan
Challenge 2: Conduct an Ethnographic Interview
In Lesson 1, you identified at least five potential interviewees. Your challenge now is to interview at least two of these people and gather stories from them.
What kinds of stories should you try to find?
- For the customer group you selected, think about what kind of life situation or activity your business idea might fit into.
- Think about what you want to learn around that situation/activity.
- Think about a few key questions to get rich stories around what you hope to learn. Remember, rich stories reveal many different types of needs (Social, Physical, Emotional, Communication needs).
Review your interview notes for each interviewee, and highlight the most important ideas that stand out.
Challenge 3: Complete a Needs Analysis
The point of this challenge is to collect all the really important things that you learned from your customer interviews and observations and group them into clusters of related ideas and insights. You’ll need sticky notes (two different colours or sizes) and a large piece of chart paper for this.
Step 1: Go through all your interview and observation notes, and write down or note the most important things you saw and heard (your key insights). Then, write each new insight on its own sticky note. Aim for 3–5 per interview and observation.
Step 2: Put all your completed sticky notes on the large chart paper. See which ones fit together, and move them around to create groups of sticky notes according to common themes/patterns.
Step 3: Label each group using a different coloured or larger sticky note.
Step 4: Fill in the main social, physical, emotional, and communication needs you identified on the Needs Analysis worksheet.
Challenge 4: Build Your Persona
It’s now time to create your own customer persona for your business! Use the information you gathered in Challenges 1, 2, and 3 above, as well as the Building Your Persona worksheet below. You can fill in all the sections on the worksheet directly or print it off. You can copy the needs of your persona from your Needs Analysis, but you’ll probably need to adapt them for your more detailed, more specific persona. Remember to write the needs out in first person (“I” and “me”), as if the persona is saying them.