How can you figure out who someone is and what problems they face in their everyday life? How are the problems of one person connected to the larger environmental issues that plague a region? This is what we explored in the second of our five Design Thinking Sessions, Interpration.

“Interpretation is exactly what it sounds like. It is taking the people and the stories you have already learned about and gaining insight from them.”

– Mrs. Boyd

The first step of this multifaceted approach was to ask questions to form a complete profile of your users.  By asking questions like, “What does she like?” and “What does he need?” you can understand how your problem effects your user on a basic, human level.

“When you have different users, and you understand their needs, you have insights.” -Mrs. Boyd

The next step was to think about  each “user profile” we had developed and create insights from each. An insight (or an interpretation of the perspective of the user) allows you to see the problem from the user’s eyes, thus understanding its importance to them and effect on them.

“We focused on the specific needs of the users so we went deep into the problem rather than looking at it as a whole.”

-Gunav G., India

The final step was to to take the many insights we had developed from problems we had found, and choose one or two specific issues that we can dive deeper into. By narrowing down our focus be could begin to completely understand a specific aspect of an issue instead of attempting the impossible task of trying to understand the entire issue of “Overpopulation in India,” for example, in a week. The whole processes of Interpretation allowed us to take a large, abstract problem and condense it down into personal issue with a narrow and manageable focus.

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