Product teams are rarely short of ideas, what's often lacking is evidence that the ideas reasonate with customers.
I was asked to conduct and promote a process that would allow internal teams to brainstorm, choose ideas and bring those ideas to our users for validation.
After evaluating several existing models I based my new process around the Google Ventures Design Sprint with its focus on brainstorming a lot of ideas and evaluating them quickly. I cherry-picked ideas and practices to suit our needs and timelines.
For each workshop, I assembled a cross departmental team to create user journeys and brainstorm ideas for improvement. Gathering people from different disciplines helped bring in a lot of dispirate and interesting ideas. There were also snacks.
Every member of the team was involved in sketching and evaluating potential solutions. We focused on the most compelling ideas to go forward to the next round: live testing with our users.
After the workshops were over I took the winning solutions and coded interactive prototypes of the proposed experience. These were shared with influitive customers during one on one interviews to gather reactions and feedback.
Testing the prototypes let to many great ideas being integrated into the product. Perhaps even more importantly, they surfaced crucial issues that stopped bad ideas in their tracks. Most important of all, we were able to gradually improve this process to provide a safe space for ideas to be debated and validated.