glossary text


2 x 2


A x/y axis with polar opposites written on each axis point (north/south/east/west) to describing different parameters. A type of Framework.

We use 2x2’s to illustrate where a product or service might be situated in a larger context. Useful in exploring if these products and services are in an advantageous or problematic quadrant, and how might we create an appropriate design.

See also

Behavioral Segmentation


Behavior Segments deepen our understanding of target users through grouping people together by how they act and behave, rather than by demographic. Usually the segmentations are organized on a framework, and are used to both design for actions, and make decisions on what segment to design for.

We've found that actions are easier to design for, than demographics, which while useful, are generally arbitrary. So instead of designing, for example, a Woman 18-35 who lives in the Pacific Northwest who want to save money, we would conduct research to understand that the design target are people who are at a moment of change in their life, and want to do something (buy a car or house for example) and therefore need to save money.

See also



A visual way to explain insights and information. Often a diagram abstracting complex problems or situations, providing deeper understanding of the problem. Frameworks are a great way to cut out the extraneous noise, and focus on what the problem might be.

In the consulting world, this might take the shape of a 2 x 2, Journey Map, or Service Blueprint.

See also



A kernel of truth or a pattern of behavior identified through research. Numerous observations should lead to an insight, but good insights represent universal truths, not just a collection of observations.

For example: “Decline is more terrifying than death” is an interesting and unique insight rather than “We all get old.”

Generally an outcome of Synthesis, and is an input into Opportunity Areas and Design Principles.

See also

  • Ethnographic Research
  • Synthesis
  • Opportunity Areas
  • Design Principles

For more inspiration



Synthesis is the art of organizing and finding patterns in the research you have conducted. It’s the hard job of making sense of what you’ve just heard, seen, or done.

It can be very dry, and full of arguments amongst teammates, looking for the higher meaning and insights you have uncovered. This is a very important step which is greater than just collecting and organizing information, but actively understanding your topic. Often synthesis is about forgetting what you thought was important, and focusing on what is truly important.

For every hour of research you generally have a corresponding hour of synthesis.

See also

Tactical Democracy is a toolkit to help you make meaningful person–to–person engagement in order to empower successful communities.

Learn about the Mindsets you need, how the Players behave and act; what Situations might be best to
deploy Tactics for engagement, to move the Players through their Journey, creating deeper empowerment.

Whoa, there's a lot of terms – check out the Glossary of Terms, and if you want to see everything, goto the sitemap.

Read some blog posts: