Are you sure about the “What?”, before moving on to “Why?”


We are living in the age of “Why”. We always talk about the “Why approach”, start the meetings with: “First, we should focus on the why”, or prompt a colleague: “We should ask why”. I completely agree that we should always ask “why” and we need to see through the window of “Why” to reach our goals. But I need to mention a point that I frequently observe in my mentorship meetings: “Are you sure about what your user is saying, before moving on to why?”

Let me lead you through an example. Think about an e-commerce website which has an 80% bounce rate value. When you see this ratio, you can easily say that “8 out of 10 users have left the website immediately” and then start to think about “Why did they leave the website immediately?”. This is the right approach when we are solving a problem, it’s true… Except for one thing: In addition to a single “Why?” There can be a number of “What?”s in this situation:

– 20% of users did not leave the website – 80% of users did not click anything or – 80% of users did not understand your message – The precious “20%” mostly visited … page and then bought something.

This is a very basic example but it should give you some idea about what my point is.

Especially if you are going to take some actions about the data you have, don’t forget to be sure about reaching all the “What”s that come with it.

When you clearly see the “what list” of your data, your action plan will be more efficient, rewarding and measurable.

Do you have any stories or examples about the “what” and the “why” approach? Feel free to leave your opinions in the comments section.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *