Often, you cannot truly understand the world of your customers and users until you put yourself in their shoes. With the “do-it-yourself” method, you order and use products, go through associated processes and experience services in the same way as your customers and users. This change of perspective helps to understand the world of your customers and users but also to investigate offerings of competitors in the role of their customers and users. DIY is the right method whenever it is practicable to do so in terms of effort and expense.
Scope & subjects
Clarify the scope and subjects of your DIY activities first. Define the situation and associated processes that you want to gain a better understanding of and choose your subjects (your own offerings, offerings of your top 3 competitors).
Your focus might be on (the usage of) products (ease of use, features, quality, components, performance, design or other predefined criteria for measurement), (service) processes (steps, touch points, channels, materials & tools, wow-moments, pains, gains, etc.) or both.
Immerse yourself in the world of your customers and users and consciously experience the customer journey step by step. Capture each step visually (photos, videos) and take notes to remember special moments. Attention to detail is the key!
Reflect on your own pains and gains within this process afterwards. What can you learn? What worked well? What didn’t work well? Why?
Understanding customers & users in the Discover phase
Investigating offerings of competitors in the Discover phase
Instruction for Coaches
DIY activities produce a lot of insights. Take care that your team stays focused according to your scope.
DIY activities should be done at half speed. Help your project team to slow down, capture insights and consciously experience each step. This may require to assign different roles to team members (acting vs. observing).
Immersing in the world of customers and users can be a great team building activity.
Help your team to document the results of your DIY activities in a visual way. Let them present their experienced customer journey step by step (e.g. photo story, video, flow chart) and highlight key learnings and moments of truth. See our Persona / Customer Card article to learn more about the visualization of qualitative field work.