Opinion (noun.)

Definition: A personal belief or view about something.

Also referenced as: Opinions (noun)

Related to: Subjective



The word opinion was used 7 times across 5 pages


Chapter 1: Identify the Mess | Page 17

A stakeholder is someone who has a viable and legitimate interest in the work you're doing. Our stakeholders can be partners in business, life, or both.

Managers, clients, coworkers, spouses, family members, and peers are common stakeholders.

Sometimes we choose our stakeholders; other times, we don't have that luxury. Either way, understanding our stakeholders is crucial to our success. When we work against each other, progress comes to a halt.

Working together is difficult when stakeholders see the world differently than we do.

But we should expect opinions and personal preferences to affect our progress. It's only human to consider options and alternatives when we're faced with decisions.

Most of the time, there is no right or wrong way to make sense of a mess. Instead, there are many ways to choose from. Sometimes we have to be the one without opinions and preferences so we can weigh all the options and find the best way forward for everyone involved.



Chapter 2: State your Intent | Page 23

Language is any system of communication that exists to establish shared meaning. Even within a single language, one term can mean something in situation A and something different in situation B. We call this a homograph. For example, the word pool can mean a swimming pool, shooting pool, or a betting pool.

Perception is the process of considering, and interpreting something. Perception is subjective like truth is. Something that's beautiful to one person may be an eyesore to another. For example, many designers would describe the busy, colorful patterns in the carpets of Las Vegas as gaudy. People who frequent casinos often describe them as beautiful.

However good or bad these carpet choices seem to us, there are reasons why they look that way. Las Vegas carpets are busy and colorful to disguise spills and wear and tear from foot traffic. Gamblers likely enjoy how they look because of an association with an activity that they enjoy. For Las Vegas casino owners and their customers, those carpet designs are good. For designers, they're bad. Neither side is right. Both sides have an opinion.

What we intend to do determines how we define words like good and bad.



Chapter 4: Choose a Direction | Page 81

When we talk about what something has to do, we sometimes answer with options of what it could do or opinions of what it should do.

A strong requirement describes the results you want without outlining how to get there.

A weak requirement might be written as: "A user is able to easily publish an article with one click of a button." This simple sentence implies the interaction (one click), the interface (a button), and introduces an ambiguous measurement of quality (easily).

When we introduce implications and ambiguity into the process, we can unknowingly lock ourselves into decisions we don't mean to make.

As an example, I once had a client ask for a "homepage made of buttons, not just text." He had no idea that, to a web designer, a button is the way a user submits a form online. To my client, the word button meant he could change the content over time as his business changes.



Chapter 4: Choose a Direction | Page 82

No matter how hard we try to be aware of opinions swirling around us, it's hard to remain neutral. But in the end, progress can't happen without a decision.

When you're choosing a direction, you may run into these questions:

  • What if I disagree with a user need or opinion identified in my research?
  • What if I disagree with the way another stakeholder sees a core concept or decision?
  • What if I don't want to do this the way others want me to?

Some people choose to hide from the realities behind these questions. But if you shield your ideas and simply follow orders, you may end up with goal-crushing (and soul-crushing) results.

We have to balance what we know with what we see and what other people say.

We listen to our users and our guts. There is no one right way. There is only your way.



Chapter 5: Measure the Distance | Page 91

  • Satisfaction: Are customers happy with what you're delivering against your promises?
  • Kudos: How often do people praise you for your efforts or contributions?
  • Profit: How much was left over after expenses?
  • Value: What would someone pay for it?
  • Loyalty: How likely are your users to return?
  • Traffic: How many people used, visited, or saw what you made?
  • Conversion: What percentage of people acted the way you hoped they would?
  • Spread: How fast is word getting around about what you're doing?
  • Perception: What do people believe about what you're making or trying to achieve?
  • Competition: Who has similar intents to yours?
  • Complaints: How many users are reaching out about an aspect of your product or service?
  • Backlash: What negative commentary do you receive or expect?
  • Expenses: How much did you spend?
  • Debt: How much do you owe?
  • Lost time: How many minutes, hours, or days did you spend unnecessarily?
  • Drop-off: How many people leave without taking the action you hoped they would?
  • Waste: How much do you discard, measured in materials and time?
  • Murk: What alternative truths or opinions exist about what you're making or trying to achieve?