The Five Whys

2-40 people

The Five Whys technique is an effective way to uncover a person's beliefs and motivations. Although it may seem repetitive, persisting with this method and allowing the interviewee ample time and space to delve deeper can yield valuable insights. During an interview, begin with broad questions such as "Do you save money?" or "How was your harvest this year?" and use the Five Whys approach to uncover key solutions to complex issues. This technique is particularly useful for exploring the emotional and human aspects of a problem.

Workshop steps


This task is quite simple. Begin by posing a general question regarding your interviewee's habits or actions, and then follow up with "why" five consecutive times in response to their answer.


Keep in mind that you're not posing a broad question (e.g., "What other reasons contributed to your poor harvest this year?"), but rather aiming for a more in-depth inquiry (e.g., "What prevented you from purchasing the necessary fertilizer?").


Jot down the information you hear, focusing particularly on instances when you gain a deeper insight into the reasons behind the individual's actions.


Remember that you may not reach the essential information until you ask "Why" four or five times.

Need help with this workshop?

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Anna Lundqvist
UX Designer and AI Ethics Strategist guiding innovative product development and educational workshops
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Eddy Salzmann
Design lead and team culture enthusiast driving products and design processes
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Ola Möller
Founder of MethodKit who has a passion for organisations and seeing the big picture
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