Three Collaboration Ideas to Elevate your Digital Product

July 12, 2017

It’s summer in Minnesota. The days are long and hot. People are on vacation— enjoying their cabins, walking around the lake, lazing at the pool… The office is a ghost town on Friday’s. Everything moves at a slower pace.

It’s easy to push off starting anything new until cooler temperatures signal our brains to go into “back-to-school” mode.

In this newsletter, we’re offering an antidote to summer stagnation with three quick, relatively low-cost projects ideas likely to produce measurable results before Labor Day.

Baseline Usability Research

What it is:
A research study methodology in which we evaluate a digital product through a 1-on-1 conversation with members of your target audience.

When it’s useful:

  • There is a kink in the analytics conversion funnel that you can’t explain— you want the “why” behind the numbers.
  • You want information about your user’s emotions, perceptions, and feelings to help guide the development/evolution of the product.
  • You have an opinion about a potential issue or breakdown with an application but nobody within your organization seems to be willing to address the problem. You need the credibility and weight of an independently facilitated research study to get traction.

Keys to success:

  • A shared understanding of the research objectives. A collective agreement on the questions we want to have answered when the study is complete will help us create the supporting research materials to meet the objectives of the study.
  • Participants who accurately represent your target audience. Not your wife or Jim from Accounting.

Design Concepting

What it is:
A series of structured collaborations with stakeholders from your organization and an interdisciplinary team from Crux Collaborative during which we generate, vet, and refine interface solutions for your digital product. There is magic to inviting those responsible for key aspects of the product to participate in developing it. This methodology enables us to quickly come up with solutions that will actually work within your data, technical, and legal requirements.

When it’s useful:

  • You want to create an innovate solution within the confines of tightly regulated industries— success will require input from multiple stakeholders (technology, product, legal, compliance, etc).
  • You are the owner and most knowledgable expert on your product— you are committed to improvement and you are willing to get your hands dirty and participate in the process.

Keys to success:

  • Participation by the key decision makers in the collaboration sessions. This is not a task that can be delegated to junior-level resources. Those with the vision for the product, knowledge of their discipline, and the power to make decisions need to be in the room.
  • Good planning and preparation. We have found that introducing participants to the methodology at least a week ahead of time and giving them time to mentally prepare for the session helps promote more successful outcomes.

Co-Creation Research

What it is:

A series of structured collaborations during which we co-create interface solutions with members of your target audience. This methodology enables us to collect qualitative data early in the development of a product, while it’s still in the conceptual stages, when it’s really nothing more than an idea. It can help ensure that user perceptions, emotions, and ideas are guiding the evolution of your product.

When it’s useful:

  • You want to gather feedback from users on their perceptions of an idea or design while it is still in the conceptual stages.
  • You have some ideas for a idea for a new product or are considering adding features to an existing one. You want understand whether your ideas are in alignment with your users’ needs.
  • You want to understand the mental model that your customers are bringing into potential interactions with your product— how do they perceive your concept.

Keys to success:

  • Quality participants. People who are not afraid to put themselves out there and share their opinion. We’ve refined our screening process and gratuity amounts to ensure we find the right people for these sessions.
  • Willingness to believe what users are saying. There’s no use in asking users about a concept if you’re not willing to incorporate their feedback into your product. If you already know what’s best for your users, there’s no point in asking them for their opinion.

If you would more information on the process, deliverables, and fees for these services or want to learn more about our specialization in user experience consulting for regulated industries, please contact us.

By Gregg Harrison
Vice President

Gregg’s passion for all things digital started two decades ago as a project manager and has expanded over the years to include a focus on user experience consulting, client management, and operations.

View Gregg's Bio


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