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I'm still a bit confused about the distinction between problems and insights. From what I understand, insights are discoveries or conclusions drawn from user analysis during the discovery phase. However, I'm having difficulty distinguishing between insights and the problems encountered by users, as most of the time, they are problems that I discover.

Could it be that making a discovery can be classified as a problem, and the conclusion would be an insight, and the insight would be a goal?

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They are different things.

Insights are findings or observations derived from UX research. They result from analyzing and interpreting the results obtained through research. You can call them "learnings" if you want.

Problems refer to the specific pain points, challenges, or obstacles that users encounter when interacting with a product or system. It doesn't matter whether you identified them first or not (as a matter of fact, it's very common to identify them first so you can research with users). You could also find problems that users won't find or perceive as problems.

Goals are a bit more complex because they're generally unrelated to the research process but tied to a higher level of product or service development (as in: your goal shouldn't be to do research, your goal should be to launch a perfect product or service, and research is just a means to an end). However, if you're looking for goals in UX research, the obvious one is to gain insights like understanding user needs, evaluating usability, identifying opportunities for improvement, or validating design decisions.

In short: Insights provide knowledge about user behavior and experiences, problems highlight specific pain points and challenges, and goals can be used to establish the objectives and direction for UX research.

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  • OK, thank you very much for all these clarifications. In the discovery phase, I synthesized The CEO interview by categorizing into: - Constraints - Priorities - Expectations - Goals Can this be considered as insights? This helped me with the SWOT. During the synthesis of the user interviews, I did the same but with the following categories: - Needs - Motivations - Behaviors - Priorities - Desires Can this also be considered as insights or be used to derive insights? Thx
    – Ismael669
    May 31, 2023 at 13:26
  • Exactly. Those are insights. It's true that they can be used to derive more insights (eg: research shown your hypothesis was wrong or results weren't adequate or you discovered something unexpected). IN that case, you use the first insights as a baseline for new research. But even in the possibility of a second phase, the original inisghts continue to be insights (this tme used as baselines)
    – Devin
    May 31, 2023 at 13:38
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Insights, Problems and goals are entirely different from each other.

Insights help us gain deep understanding and knowledge from analyzing data, information, or experiences. By running surveys and feedback campaigns, you gain insights that your target audience prefers a specific feature that no other products are offering.

Problems represent obstacles or challenges that need resolution. They can be tangible or intangible, and they require resolution or mitigation to attain the intended goals. Let's say you realize that your production team has a high bug rate, leading to customer complaints and increased costs. This problem needs to be addressed to improve product quality and reduce financial losses.

Goals define the desired outcomes or targets to be achieved. Insights often inform the identification of problems, which, when addressed, enable progress towards the defined goals. A personal fitness goal could be to run a marathon within six months. This goal sets a specific target and timeline, and it motivates you to follow a strict diet and workout plan.

The in-depth information you gain are insights, problem is something that needs to be solved to avoid losses and goals are targets that you achieve.

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  • OK, thank you very much for all these clarifications. In the discovery phase, I synthesized The CEO interview by categorizing into: - Constraints - Priorities - Expectations - Goals Can this be considered as insights? This helped me with the SWOT. During the synthesis of the user interviews, I did the same but with the following categories: - Needs - Motivations - Behaviors - Priorities - Desires Can this also be considered as insights or be used to derive insights? Thx
    – Ismael669
    May 31, 2023 at 13:27
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I totally understand what you are saying. If we see this from a research point of view, we first have a problem, then insights and then goals. Insights is what you get through research, and what you research is your problem. Yes, you can say that the insights you receive is now your goal to solve that problem.
For example: You have an online business of shirts, and you are facing a problem. The problem is you are not getting any customers. So you decided to do some research. After thorough research, you found some insights: The insights are that your target market does not like your shirt designs. So now your goal would be to come up with the shirt designs that your audience will like.

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