Why Do I Still Have to Plug in My Computer?

Arrrg! I’m working on my laptop at the kitchen table and my battery is... running... out... of... power.

How can it be that we don’t yet have wireless power that gets beamed to my laptop?

But maybe that’s the wrong question…

The real problem may be that the battery life is too short for me, it’s a software issue, or my expectations are wrong. Hypotheses can help us find the right questions to reveal potential unmet needs.

And asking the right questions is absolutely essential in user research, so much so that I’ve developed the habit of asking questions nearly 24/7.

When working with clients to identify the best research questions, we often use a technique called laddering, which is similar to mind mapping. We take an idea and explore it in tangential ways to find various approaches that will yield the most meaningful input. We might combine questions, reverse them, or turn some upside-down. It’s all fair game.

If you don’t do this in some way, you won’t identify the best question. If you aren’t posing the right question to the right people, user research can be make work.

But, seriously, why do I still have to plug in my computer?

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