Design Process: Ability To Ask Questions

01-Mar-2019

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While asking questions may seem like a naturally simple task for everyone, possessing the ability to ask the right questions at the right moment is a powerful tool to be mastered. In design processes, asking critical questions during stages of user research, development and testing may help to transform the simplest of designs into vital tools of the future.  Great designers are able to use questions to identify opportunities, reveal issues and understand needs that in turn, helps to make better, informed decisions. Given the importance of it in design philosophy, here are some good practices for asking the right questions at the right moment, the right way.

 

Practice prepping and formulating questions before each stage of design |  Asking questions tend to get difficult for those who do not practice it regularly. Make sure you are prepared and practice formulating questions beforehand.

 

Step back and ask questions from different perspectives |  The critical investigative phase should not be easily overlooked or done so carelessly. It is an essential aspect of the design and design-thinking process as it helps designers approach problems before it even arises. Prevent critical situations that hinder progress by questioning every aspect of your work as a creator and a user.

 

Break down complex questions into simpler ones to make it easier | Instead of asking broad questions that are complex to answer, break them into shorter, specific questions. For instance: change from "what do people like to buy" to "what do millennials like to buy," "what do millennials wear," "what items do they avoid and why," "what influences them to make a purchase" and so on.

 

Avoid emotional or personal bias by asking factual questions | One of the biggest and most common mistakes that can occur during the questioning process is to ask biased questions. Improve your ability to ask the right questions by adopting a more scientific approach. Eliminate loaded and leading questions to extract accurate and impartial results that address your design concerns.

 

Prioritise open-ended questions | From a designer's perspective, open-ended questions help to uncover underlying social, economic, or cultural patterns that occur. The gathered answers then help to gain valuable insight to form a better and more improved point of view.


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