Talking to users is possibly the most important thing for a designer. I love talking to potential users, conducting focus group sessions and producing solutions based on this research. Talking to users and customers is the surest way of coming up with products that they like.
“Curiosity killed the cat”, but it also showed us Mars. Users may say or do something, but their actions may be the result of a much deeper issue. I find it quite exiting to do this problem finding because it has helped me understand user behaviour and come up with better ideas and solutions.
Affinity diagram is a clever way to brainstorm and organise ideas, and it allows collaboration. Once I have all my ideas on the sticky notes, it becomes easy to group ideas, derive relationships and so on. Lately, I have been using an online board to collaborate with my teammates from home- but that just shows how necessary this process is.