Predict Next Year’s Headline

Predicting Next Year’s headlines is a method that can be used to guide the steps to take immediately and in the future. This method can be employed in combination with other methods such as surveys, interviews, extreme user interviews, and other methods that involve different stakeholders who can project the state of a product, service, or an industry in the future. Predict Next Year’s Headline helps in looking at the way stakeholders expect their products, services or businesses to shape up in the future and what steps should be prioritized in order to meet those expectations.

Predict Next Year’s Headlines must be combined with methods carefully as a bias introduced in data gathering either due to peer pressure in a group discussion or researcher’s opinion during an individual interview will affect the overall prediction. This research method is usually worked out in collaboration with the customer. It is important to keep the headline restricted to one line otherwise the client may squeeze in multiple headlines into one prediction. The different predictions may seem connected to the client but may be actually unrelated. Depending on the projections, the researcher then culls out those that are unrealistic or not in line with a combined vision. This method can be employed at an early stage of the project to define goals and vision for a product or service.

Predict Next Year’s Headline can be either open-ended where the participants are asked to suggest the headline without limiting parameters or the method can be closed where the participants are asked to choose from a given set of headlines.

MethodPurposeAdvantagesDisadvantages
OpenTo allow stakeholders to project the future of a product, service or industry openlyIndividual stakeholders can openly project the immediate and future steps that need to be taken to reach a certain state of existence for that product, service or industry
  • The predictions may be complicated to collate.
  • Too many diverse predictions
ClosedTo allow stakeholders to project the future of a product, service or industry for predefined predictionsIndividual stakeholders must choose among predefined options which are helpful in limiting the scope of projections
  • As the stakeholders must choose from the options determined by the researcher or designer who may not be an expert on the product, service or industry.
  • As the participants are suggested the options to choose from, a prediction that they would otherwise make can go unmentioned.

 

Advantages of Predict Next Year’s Headlines

01 Diverse viewpoints

This method allows gathering different visions and steps to achieve the vision from the stakeholders involved in the design research process.

02 Goal definition

Predict Next Year’s Headlines is a great method to define the goals of a project.

03 Collaborative

The method helps to arrive at a common vision through a collaboration between the stakeholders and the researcher or designer. The designer also ensures that the project is kept in the focus and the ideas getting generated can be pursued realistically.

04 Concise

The actual goal doesn’t get lost in long complicated goals; the method, if executed correctly, clearly elicits one headline from each stakeholder.

 

Disadvantages of Predict Next Year’s Headlines

01 Unrealistic Vision

If the stakeholders do not have a clear goal, they can end up making unrealistic projections, which may be worse than no prediction at all.

02 Experienced Researcher

It is important for an experienced researcher or designer to be part of the collaboration to guide the stakeholders in figuring out the true goals of the project.

Think Design recommendation

Use this method when the intent is to understand the future that would affect our universe of users… and that would then influence our product proposition. More often than not, this method will guide product proposition, product positioning or business model. Do not use this method when the intent is for designing or improving a product/ application.
 
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