An opportunity workshop is a way to quickly assess what work needs to be done to improve the user experience, what’s highest priority from a business perspective, and what will have the most impact from a user perspective.
Use an opportunity workshop when you find yourself having general discussions about the need for an improved user experience, but there is no clear momentum or sense of how to get there.
3–4 hours total
- 1 hour to plan and invite people
- 2 hours to conduct workshop
- 1 hour to document what you learned and plan the next steps
Try It Out
- Host a work session.
Block off at least two hours on the calendar and invite together a cross-functional team of people who all work on the product.
- State the goals of the work session.
- Uncover problem areas.
Guide the team in a pain storm activity on Post-it notes or index cards, as shown in Figure 5.8. Ask everyone to write down as many things they can think of that are:
- A problem in the current product
- A missed opportunity in the current product
- Just plain important to get right in the product
- One-by-one, ask people to share their Post-it notes, and put them on the wall where others can see them.
Next, ask the team to write down the product’s strengths—again, one strength per sticky note, as shown in Figure 5.9. It’s useful to follow problem areas with strengths so that the team ends on a positive note, even if the overall discussion may have been constructively critical.
Next, guide the team in an activity to organize the issues that were identified into related groupings. Once some clear groups begin to emerge, ask the team to label each group. Put the label on another sticky note (preferably of a different size or color, so it stands out from the other Post-its) so everyone can easily stand back and see the issues and opportunities as broad themes.
Now, lead the team in a prioritization exercise. This could just be a discussion. Or, to make it more structured, give everyone a certain number of votes, and ask them to put their votes next to the clusters that they think are most urgent to address, improve, or enhance.
Once the priorities have been clearly identified, lead the group in a discussion about how urgently these should be addressed, and how you’d like to address them.
What’s YOUR favorite way to assess how to improve a product’s UX?
Post your reply as a comment below by Tuesday, 11/12, midnight PT. The best reply wins a free copy of The User Experience Team of One.
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