4 w's Framework

Shared on
September 28, 2019
Qualitative Research

A framework for organizing user research data:

  • What you saw
  • What you heard
  • What it means (Emerging Insight)
  • Why it matters (Implications)

I've given 1 example per quadrant here for simplicity, but in reality you'd want to see patterns & trends across x amount of observations (what you saw & heard) for it to become an emerging insight & implication.


What's fun is to see the tension between observed and expressed needs. That's where the kernel of a good idea starts.


What users say vs. what they do are usually two different things. Combine it with how you interpret it, though and it becomes a powerful thing.

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