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How to Ask Good Questions

How to Ask Good Questions

Strata + Hadoop World London 2016

8f3b43a5368813125896076d62c22d53?s=128

The Difference Engine

June 01, 2016
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  1. HOW TO ASK GOOD QUESTIONS @farrahbostic #strataconf 1 June 2016

  2. HI, 
 I’M @FARRAHBOSTIC. I RUN…

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  4. SO, HOW DO YOU FIND THE RIGHT QUESTIONS?

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  6. WHY DO WE ASK QUESTIONS?

  7. TO DISCOVER

  8. TO EXPLORE

  9. TO UNDERSTAND

  10. TO TEST HYPOTHESES

  11. TO TRACK PROGRESS

  12. OBJECTIVES INFLUENCE STRUCTURE (AND TOOLS) DISCOVERING EXPLORING UNDERSTANDING TESTING TRACKING

    How might we…? What is possible? Why? Will this work? How are we doing? QUALITATIVE QUANTITATIVE
  13. GOALS BEFORE TOOLS SO YOU CAN… USE… YOU WANT TO

    KNOW… How is our brand doing? Are our customers happy? What are people really doing? Which feature or design should I choose? What is the customer experiencing?
 What consumer or cultural trends affect our brand? How do our customers live & work?
 Who could our customers be? Brand Tracking Surveys Net Promoter Score Analytics A/B Testing User Interviews
 Co-creation Workshops & Competitive Audits Ethnography & 
 Service Safaris Segmentation Surveys Plan and optimize features or content Use evidence instead of opinions Improve the experience, or design new ones Identify opportunities for brainstorming Develop personas, customer journey maps, and hypotheses for new concepts Identify weaknesses and gaps for improvement Size market segments and understand how they value your product/brand Identify opportunities for improvement © The Difference Engine LLC 2016
  14. WHERE DO GOOD QUESTIONS COME FROM?

  15. LESSONS FROM LAW ESTABLISH 
 THE FACTS SPOT 
 THE

    ISSUE IDENTIFY 
 THE RULE PREDICT 
 AN OUTCOME
  16. LESSONS FROM SCIENCE ➤ You know what a hypothesis is,

    yes? ➤ ὑπόθεσις “to suppose” ➤ It’s a proposed explanation for something. ➤ You have to be able to test it. ➤ The simplest explanation should (usually) be the best. ➤ It should apply to more than one instance of the thing happening. ➤ It should help explain other things in the future. ➤ It should fit with the evidence.
  17. LESSONS FROM D SCHOOL ➤ Amp up the good ➤

    Remove the bad ➤ Explore the opposite ➤ Question an assumption ➤ Go after adjectives ➤ ID unexpected resources ➤ Create an analogy from need or context ➤ Play POV against the challenge ➤ Change a status quo ➤ Break POV into pieces “How Might We” Questions METHOD                   “How might we” (HMW) questions are short questions that launch brainstorms. HMWs fall out of your point-of-view statement or design principles as seeds for your ideation. Create a seed that is broad enough that there are a wide range of solutions but narrow enough that the team has some helpful boundaries. For example, between the too narrow “HMW create a cone to eat ice cream without dripping” and the too broad “HMW redesign dessert” might be the properly scoped “HMW redesign ice cream to be more portable.” It should be noted, the the proper scope of the seed will vary with the project and how much progress you have made in your project work. Begin with your Point of View (POV) or problem statement. Break that larger challenge up into smaller actionable pieces. Look for aspects of the statement to complete the sentence, “How might we…” It is often helpful to brainstorm the HMW questions before the solutions brainstorm. For example, consider the following POV and resulting HMW statements. Challenge: Redesign the ground experience at the local international airport POV: Harried mother of three, rushing through the airport only to wait hours at the gate, needs to entertain her playful children because “annoying little brats” only irritate already frustrated fellow passengers. Amp up the good: HMW use the kids’ energy to entertain fellow passenger? Remove the bad: HMW separate the kids from fellow passengers? Explore the opposite: HMW make the wait the most exciting part of the trip? Question an assumption: HMW entirely remove the wait time at the airport? Go after adjectives: HMW we make the rush refreshing instead of harrying? ID unexpected resources: HMW leverage free time of fellow passengers to share the load? Create an analogy from need or context: HMW make the airport like a spa? Like a playground? Play POV against the challenge: HMW make the airport a place that kids want to go? Change a status quo: HMW make playful, loud kids less annoying? Break POV into pieces: HMW entertain kids? HMW slow a mom down? HMW mollify delayed passengers? How Might We . . .?
  18. HOW DO WE ARTICULATE GOOD QUESTIONS?

  19. LESSONS FROM SEMIOTICS ➤ Syntax: Ensure correct grammatical arrangement of

    words in sentences. ➤ Semantics: Combine words to create meaningful discourse, taking context into account. ➤ Pragmatics: Understand how we really use language to convey meaning. ➤ Idiosyncratics: Modulate word choice and order based on relationships, culture, context and content.
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  21. PRIMING & CHOICE

  22. “EVERY QUESTION YOU ASK IS A PRIME FOR QUESTIONS THAT

    FOLLOW” Paul Soldera, Equation Research
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  25. “WE DON’T HAVE A LINEAR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR OPINIONS.” Paul

    Soldera, Equation Research
  26. HOW DO REAL PEOPLE ENCODE INFORMATION IN THIS SITUATION?

  27. SOME USEFUL RULES OF THUMB ➤ Start with the end

    in mind. ➤ Hypothesize - ask yourself “how might we” questions. ➤ Identify what information you’ll need. ➤ Don’t assume facts not in evidence. ➤ Go and see for yourself before you write a survey. ➤ Use the right tools for the job. ➤ Don’t lead the witness. ➤ Be clear.
  28. THANKS. (MORE TO COME)