We decided to unpack the common UCD process into a simplified linear diagram only for clarity of communicating the steps in the process that we intended to follow rather than attempt to capture the iterative and dynamic nature of UCD in practice.
Broadly speaking, we can refer to the entire front end exercises from "Immersion" in the field through to the analysis and synthesis of findings which provide both context and content for actionable insights that bound the solution space before ideation begins as a combination of "User Observations" and "Design Planning".
Breaking down the steps allowed us to explain our activities to our audience of our "end-users" without the barrier of industry specific jargon. We just call it the user centered approach to solution development (UCSD) and define it simply as a way to begin the process of solution development (product or service design for eg) from the
perspective of the end user.
Our primary observations are gathered by exploratory user research in field - unlike design specific user research which seeks to better improve a behavioral or working prototype of a new product or service, exploratory user research may have a guiding theme but no coherent anchor points for initiation