Where my interest in sensemaking came from

"Does that make sense?"

Do you ever say 'does that make sense?" If you don't say it yourself, do you hear it said? 

A few years ago, I kept noticing how often I said it, and how often I heard it said. It got me thinking. We all know what 'makes sense' means, but somehow these words are missing from the typical researcher lexicon. Researchers talk about 'decisions', 'choices', 'motives, 'drives', 'needs' and 'attitudes'. When I looked around, no researcher was talking about 'making sense' even though it is a phrase we use in our everyday lives all the time. 

I wondered whether there was anything in the social science literature about 'making sense'. What I discovered was a huge body of work in cognitive psychology, human intelligence, artificial intelligence and design about 'sensemaking'.

In design thinking and CX, it is used to describe a process which is part analysis, part ideation. 

For Insights teams, sensemaking has two applications:

  1. There is huge potential in understanding how customers and users 'make sense of' their experiences. 
  2. Any Insight team that has been overwhelmed by vast amounts of data could also benefit from some sensemaking skills.

Let me know if you would like to chat more about this.

 

Sue

 


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