The 5 Whys and other user research tactics to make your workplace less stressful

How do you know what is really needed by coworkers or their motivations? Often, the first time you ask why won’t truly represent the person’s true needs or feelings. It’s just scraping the surface.

In the 5 why’s technique you continue probing with why questions to get to the root of the problem. After 5, you discover the real answer and are able to build better relationships and serve clients/stakeholders more efficiently, therefore reducing stress.

We can borrow other techniques from user experience research, such as ethnographic field studies and participatory design, to build better understanding and relationships with your colleagues or clients.

About Amy

Amy Grace is a content strategist and user experience researcher with more than decade of experience in higher ed, publishing, and nonprofit. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in user experience design from Kent State University.

Her experiences include work at University of South Carolina, where she served as the first content strategist, and Texas A&M AgriLife, where she directed content strategy, information architecture, and social media for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and five state agencies. She served as an expert reviewer for “Content Strategy for WordPress,” published in 2015. Bragging rights include holding a sensei rank in karate and singing happy birthday to Muhammad Ali.