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Welcome to
Illustrative Insights

capturing insights in creative & imaginative ways

Hi, I'm Jill Christ - product researcher and principal consultant at Illustrative Insights. I believe that good product development starts with understanding the people you are building for, and the problems you are solving for them. 

However, while startups of all shapes and sizes know this well, they often don't have bandwidth to tackle it.

That's why I started Illustrative Insights.  We take creative and imaginative approaches to helping startups answer critical questions throughout in their product development lifecycle.


How do you capture illustrative insights?

Three important principles guide our approach to research.

Listening deeply & carefully

Transformative insights come from listening deeply to people. We coach startups on how to listen to their users language, and go beyond the surface level jargon, long-winded responses, and understand what's being said beneath the surface.

Observe keenly & intentionally

We believe that cultivating empathy means seeing what the world looks likes through the eyes of someone else. That is why it is important to watch people using designs on a regular basis. Watching other people struggle and succeed is what cultivates empathy.

Share stories & frameworks

Your insights have a much longer shelf life if they are told through stories and frameworks. That is why we share our findings in terms of diagrams, journeys, and empathy maps - to help capture both the bigger picture and actionable next steps for your product.


What do illustrative insights provide?

We help answer questions at each stage of the product lifecycle.


Q. "Who are we building for? 
What problem are we solving?"

A. To answer these questions at this stage, we first conduct a mix of exporatory methods. For example, we may conduct ethnographic research (e.g., in-home contextual interviews), or remote in-depth interviews (e.g., jobs-to-be-done). Then, we distill these insights into illustrative frameworks, and propose actionable next steps for the future. 


Q. "Is this concept the right direction? How will people react?"

A. At this stage, it is important to take an iterative, observational research approach. This gives you a chance to watch people using your design, fix issues, make changes, and test them with users again. This can be a mix of usability methods (e.g., Rapid Iterative Testing and Evaluation), conducted on desktop or mobile devices. By the end of this stage, you should have a finely-tuned design, and a series of insights that capture how the design evolved from study to study.


Q. "Why are(n't) people using it? And what should we build next?"

A. After a product is launched, it's important for startups to listen and observe people who have adopted their product. To do this, we work with them to conduct unmoderated studies (e.g., diary studies), observational interviews (in-home or remote), or group discussions. The goal of this stage is to understand what it is like for people to use the product on their own devices, and in their context, and over time. Insights at this stage are captured and distilled into illustrative frameworks with recommendations of what to do next. 

"The most important thing in communication
is hearing what isn't said."
~Peter Drucker

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