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What is needfinding?

Definition: Needfinding is the process of identifying and understanding the needs, pain points, and desires of a specific group of people or customers. 

It involves gathering and analyzing data and insights about the needs and behaviors of the target market and using it to inform the design and development of products, services, and solutions that will meet those needs. 

Needfinding is an iterative process, as the insights and understanding of the target market or user group can evolve and change over time.

Needfinding process

The needfinding process has 3 stages:

  1. Find your target audience

For example, project managers are a target audience for a business selling virtual desk software. After determining the audience, the next step is selecting the target group participants and observing their actions, habits, and routines.

  1. Observe and record

The goal is to observe, record, and write down everything that occurs during this observation. Researchers can ask participants open-end questions or let them use a product without guidance.

  1. Analyse and define

After gathering and organizing the information, researchers draw conclusions. In our example, researchers may conclude that PMs spend an hour organizing and prioritizing before starting the first task.

PMs aren’t aware, but researchers can conclude PMs need to work on the priority tasks right away and not waste time on planning and organizing their day.

A possible feature solving this need is a daily to-do list sent to PMs in the morning automatically from their online desk

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Article FAQs

What is the difference between needfinding and other customer research processes?
Instead of observing and drawing conclusions from customer behavior, other research processes try to find the answers by asking customers directly or finding solutions online.
What is needfinding in HCI?
In HCI, needfinding is the process of observing and discovering the needs of humans when interacting with computers to build a more intuitive, user-friendly product that users need.
What is meant by bias in needfinding?
During the needfinding process, the researcher must observe the customers' behavior and routine without interfering and proposing a solution. The researcher shouldn’t ask customers about their potential problems and solutions.

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