Debrief with Your Team

Throughout the time you are conducting research, you should be sharing what you are learning with your teammates. Try to set aside a time each week to discuss what you learned from interviews, observations, shadowing, or other methods.

Be sure to assign someone to take notes on what’s being discussed. These conversations and bits of knowledge will be used in the next phase to help Reflect on what you are learning, so it is important to capture these learnings - either on the computer, on a notepad, or on post-it notes (which will help you organize your learnings in Reflect). 

Continue to cycle between conducting research, and debriefing with your team until one of two things happen:

1. You feel like you understand your design challenge from a variety of perspectives, and you don’t have large gaps in your knowledge, or

2. Time runs out. You will never learn everything there is to know, and that’s okay!

Time Needed

1-2 hrs/week

Explore Debrief Worksheet

Use this worksheet to take notes right after each interview, observation or other research session. It helps you take note of key learnings as they are top-of-mind, and will help you prepare when you share what you've learned with the rest of your team.



Conflicting data

It’s okay to have contrasting observations -- it only means you’ve uncovered some complexity. Try to understand how these two observations coexist, which may become a starting point of a great insight.

Ask for clarification

As people are sharing what they’ve learned, others should feel free to ask for clarification if needed. Start to think about what these observations mean for your challenge.

Suspend judgment

Be aware of your own biases and try not to interpret what you hear yet. Try to record direct ideas, quotes, and observations from your research. Stay away from generalizing, hypothesizing, or judging. People are complex, and your observations will be as well.

Track your learnings

As your team journeys through this phase and creates high-level insights from specific data points, there will be times when you don’t remember where that insight or concept came from. While it can be time-consuming, recording your decisions around insights and data points will be helpful in the long-run.

Use a variety of data

As you are relaying what you learned, use different pieces of data to provide as evidence, such as: Quotations, Observations, Behaviors, Beliefs, Inconsistencies, Stories, Concepts or ideas (written or sketched), or Questions

Guide the discussion

You can use the questions from the Debrief Highlights Sheet to help guide your discussion:

  1. What stood out to you?
  2. What mattered most to the people you engaged?
  3. What are things that people said or did that most surprised you?
  4. What new topics or questions do you want to explore further?

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