Prep Time:
Time to run:
1-3 hours

Customer insights template

Observe your users to understand what they value

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Observe your customers to understand what they value.

Gathering customer insights is the first phase of the design thinking process. In this activity, you will ground yourself and your team in the needs of the people you are creating for through careful observation. We think of observation as “listening with your eyes,” and it can help you understand what people truly need and value.

Empower your team to gather customer insights.

Anyone can practice observing their customers, and it can be done remotely and on a minimal budget. In this three-step template, you and your team will: Brainstorm who to observe, and where. Get creative with observation opportunities! Online forums like YouTube and Facebook groups provide safe and easy ways to get insight into your customers’ needs and values.

Do your observations individually. We offer tips for what to look for as each member of the team does the individual observation.
Share back your insights. Summarize your findings to share back and discuss with the full team.

The insights you gather through this activity will provide the inspiration you need to create human-centered solutions.

Note: This activity can be done individually or as a team.

How to create a Customer insights template

Foundations in Design Thinking Certificate Program
Observation is one of several techniques you’ll learn in this program to better understand the social, emotional, and physical needs of your customers. Through this 10-week certificate, you will gain a foundational, practical understanding of the essential design thinking skills and mindsets.

Insights for Innovation Course
Build upon the observation work you’ve done in this activity with our Insights for Innovation course. In this course, you will uncover deeper insights by planning and conducting great customer interviews, immerse yourself in an empathy experience, and inspire others through a well-crafted narrative about the insights you surfaced.

Customer insights template frequently asked questions


Template by IDEO U


IDEO U is an online school that equips you with creative problem-solving skills, easy-to-use tools, and leadership mindsets to stay resilient in our fast-changing modern world.