How can I get the best out of a UX discovery workshop

23 Dec 2009 - 7:28am
4 years ago
5 replies
3960 reads
melanie burke
2009

I'm starting on a project in the New Year where the client has
arranged a 3 hour UX discovery meeting with 20 stakeholders right at
the beginning of the project before I've had any real time to do my
own research.

The client's objectives for the meeting are to define the personas
and user journeys and the first draft of the structure for the site.

After the meeting I will have an opportunity to conduct one-on-one
interviews.

The project itself is to develop a fairly laborious offline
application process into a streamlined online process. The
stakeholders present will be comprised of applicants and reviewers.

I've not run a workshop with that many people present and I'm
wondering what the best approach is.

I've read this post about creating personas in a workshop
http://www.ixda.org/discuss.php?post=46648 so I'm also wondering how
I can get the information I need to create the personas without
actually doing it with the client.

Comments

23 Dec 2009 - 9:27am
bminihan
2007

You probably won't get much done with 20 people over 3 hours, unless you
split them into groups, after a short overview session, laying ground rules,
perhaps agree on a high-level approach, refine the scope of what you're
looking for (no hardware chat, just UX, etc).

Perhaps something like this might help:

20 Minutes - Intros, define scope, high-level overview, describing the 5
"moving parts" and 4 major roles or audiences that need defining. Refine
these if anything is really missing
30 Minutes - Breakout into 4 groups of 5 ppl each. Groups draft a basic
outline of their assigned persona, and the 3-5 use cases that will define
that persona's experience with the app.
20 Minutes - Each group presents their draft to the whole
10 Minutes - Breakout to revise and update based on feedback
15 Minutes - Break for air
30 Minutes - Breakout into 5 groups of 4 ppl each. Groups build out a paper
prototype of how their part should work
30 Minutes - Each group presents their draft to the whole
10 Minutes - Breakout to revise and update based on feedback
10 Minutes - Closure - explain how someone (or someone(s)) will combine all
of the documents and deliver back to the group for review and comment by XX
day

The above schedule is way too tight, so you'll probably go over, but you can
see that working with large groups effectively can sometimes take longer
than just hammering out a plan with 3-6 people all at once.

Bryan Minihan
Phone: 919-428-4744
Email: bjminihan at gmail.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/bryanminihan
Resume: http://www.bryanminihan.com/resume.html
Web Portfolio:  http://www.bryanminihan.com/portfolio.html
Blog:  http://www.bryanminihan.com/blog/

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of melanie
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 4:29 AM
To: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] How can I get the best out of a UX discovery
workshop

I'm starting on a project in the New Year where the client has
arranged a 3 hour UX discovery meeting with 20 stakeholders right at
the beginning of the project before I've had any real time to do my
own research.

The client's objectives for the meeting are to define the personas
and user journeys and the first draft of the structure for the site.

After the meeting I will have an opportunity to conduct one-on-one
interviews.

The project itself is to develop a fairly laborious offline
application process into a streamlined online process. The
stakeholders present will be comprised of applicants and reviewers.

I've not run a workshop with that many people present and I'm
wondering what the best approach is.

I've read this post about creating personas in a workshop
http://www.ixda.org/discuss.php?post=46648 so I'm also wondering how
I can get the information I need to create the personas without
actually doing it with the client.
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23 Dec 2009 - 10:36am
dszuc
2005

Hi:

Questions:

* Do you have user data to help develop the personas?
* Do you have some data to help drive improvements for the online
journey?
* What roles/titles are attending the workshop?
* What do you want to people to do with the output after the
workshop?

Suggest you could:

* Develop the Personas before the workshop for people to validate
* Use the issues to group and drive "design goals" before starting
the design
* Use the time to divide into 2 teams to come up with 2 solutions and
then bring the best of the 2 solutions together into 1
* Test the solution with the group against tasks to help iterate

Planning note - An important part of a workshop is to ensure that
expectations are set correctly before you walk in so that everyone
understand what you will and will not achieve.

Also see -
http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2007/06/walking-through-your-product-design-with-stakeholders.php

rgds,
Dan

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=48067

23 Dec 2009 - 11:36am
Paul Sherman
2006

Seconding what Dan said, and adding this:

- Create an agenda...but don't overdo it. Scheduling down to the minute can create a false sense of urgency during the brainstorming, and impedes flow and creativity. Suggestion: set coarse-grained timings for the main agenda items. Avoid "5 minutes - activity x" and "10 minutes - activity y" granularity.

- Also, I suggest coming out of the workshop with the goal of further "validating" the personas via add'l user research. I put that in quotes because there's no industry-standard method or measure for validating personas. But there are methods and techniques for gathering corroborating evidence and expanding on the initial assumptions about your customers' goals, workflow, motivations and constraints.

I would love to expand on this last point b/c I'm currently working on two big persona "validation" projects. But it's time to hit the road for holiday travels. If there's further interest in persona validation techniques I'll post more after Christmas (also known to my tribe as "the night we order Chinese takeout" :-)

HH,
Paul

- - - - - - -
Paul Sherman, Principal, ShermanUX
User Experience Research | Design | Strategy
paul at ShermanUX.com
www.ShermanUX.com
+1.512.917.1942
- - - - - - -

On Dec 23, 2009, at 7:36 AM, Daniel Szuc wrote:

Hi:

Questions:

* Do you have user data to help develop the personas?
* Do you have some data to help drive improvements for the online
journey?
* What roles/titles are attending the workshop?
* What do you want to people to do with the output after the
workshop?

Suggest you could:

* Develop the Personas before the workshop for people to validate
* Use the issues to group and drive "design goals" before starting
the design
* Use the time to divide into 2 teams to come up with 2 solutions and
then bring the best of the 2 solutions together into 1
* Test the solution with the group against tasks to help iterate

Planning note - An important part of a workshop is to ensure that
expectations are set correctly before you walk in so that everyone
understand what you will and will not achieve.

Also see -
http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2007/06/walking-through-your-product-design-with-stakeholders.php

rgds,
Dan

30 Dec 2009 - 10:19am
melanie burke
2009

Hi all

Thanks for your feedback, it's really useful and is helping me
formulate a plan for the workshop.

Bryan, thanks for your detailed suggestion. I think I'm going to do
something fairly similar to this.

In answer to your questions Daniel;

# Do you have user data to help develop the personas? No, I don't
have any information at present other than there are 4 broad user
types.

# Do you have some data to help drive improvements for the online
journey? No, I don't have any information about the online journey,
or the current 'offline' journey.

# What roles/titles are attending the workshop?
I don't have much information on that either (see a pattern here?)
but I expect they will be made up of the four user types who will be
using the application.

# What do you want to people to do with the output after the
workshop? The objectives of the workshop are to provide me with
enough information to begin to develop the personas and map the
journey.

Paul, I will have time to do some user research after the workshop
and I intend to use this to validate the personas so I'd be really
interested in your thoughts on how to do this.

Any other ideas would be much appreciated. Otherwise I'll post back
here and let you know how I got on.

Happy new year,

Melanie

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=48067

30 Dec 2009 - 8:39pm
dszuc
2005

Thanks Melanie and looks like the workshop will provide some starter
insights as you design the journeys forward.

Suggest and repeating, set the expectations with the people you need
to provide the journeys to i.e. people expecting results; that this
is a starting point and probably will not provide all the answers, as
expect you will need to validate post workshop.

Nice to have the opportunity to run a workshop like this :)

All the best and happy NY!

rgds,
Dan

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=48067

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