Evidence driven design

Language is critical for business. Words can be used succinctly to provide a clear and common understanding so that outcomes can be understood and planned for properly. But, certain words can also create expectations that might limit a better understanding.

In UX work you often hear the term “data driven design”. It’s an important approach because it provides some of the information required to move work forward successfully. But “data” is often thought of as just what can be measured. Quantitative data is very valuable, no doubt, but in UX design the core consideration is always people. It’s the “why” behind the “what”.

We attempt to use qualitative data to translate human experience into numbers, but there are limitations. Although there are methods and processes that can be used to better understand people, how can you really see through someone else’s eyes?

By using the word “data” we often set the expectation that only what can be measured is important and actionable. But, if we start using the term “evidence driven design” people might start to think that there is a broader consideration to understanding a problem and solving it.