Declaring Assumptions

The main ways to identify assumptions are as follows:

  1. Have a conversation and list out everyone’s assumptions.
  2. Determine how you can turn those assumptions into questions.
  3. Have the team map their questions to research approaches that would enable the team to discover answers and validate or challenge specific assumptions.
  4. Through greater user understanding, determine whether these assumptions lead to other assumptions that may provide additional questions that would lead to further discovery over time.

Allowing teams to challenge their assumptions in an open, respectful, and caring way helps them to open up to user learnings, leave their own egos behind, and gather evidence that leads to smarter product and service design decisions over time.

Let’s use an example to illustrate:

What do we know about elderly people taking medication?
Do you know someone or heard stories about medication for elderly?
What can we assume are the problems, difficulties or challenges with medication for these people?
Have you heard of any positive experiences in regard to taking medication?
What do you think would make this experience more rewarding?


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