words of wonder

Life at Wonderist: Learning About Rapid Ideation at Arthur UX

Wonderist Agency has four pillars to direct our non-work activities; Health, Giving Back, Having Fun, and Professional Development.

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Wonderist Agency has four pillars to direct our non-work activities; Health, Giving Back, Having Fun, and Professional Development. As part of our professional development pillar, we host lunch and learns and try to find community meet-ups that we can attend. This last week a small crew of web-focused Wonderbuddies ventured downtown to a workshop called “Rapid Ideation for UX Teams,” sponsored by the awesome folks over at Arthur UX. After some introductions and delicious sandwiches, we were introduced to the scenario that would guide us through the next three hours:

"Welcome to the Flowers project. With Valentine's Day fast approaching, we’re looking for ways to increase sales by making our service even easier to use. We’ve noticed a trend that users become stressed when selecting flowers, as there are many gifts, styles, prices, and delivery options. We’ve hired you to come up with ideas to reduce user stress in the browse and purchase process."

As a result, your problem statement is:

“How might we reduce stress in sending thoughtful, floral gifts for Valentine’s Day?”

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The Three Room Strategy

To kick everything off, Arthur’s UX gurus first walked us through the basics of brainstorming with a problem solving focus. With the problem statement at the front of our minds, we began to work through ideas using the “Three Room” strategy, rumored to have roots in Disney’s creative department and designed to help teams align and focus on the objective at hand. The rooms are identified as:

Room 1: Uncover lots of ideas
Room 2: Find the good ideas
Room 3: Refine the best ideas

Within each room, our team was introduced to some strategies to help us move efficiently through our ideation process. We adopted the “Creative Matrix” method in Room 1; we drew a 5x5 grid that had our problem statement in the top left corner, and we introduced “lenses” on the x-axis and “enablers” on the y-axis. The middle boxes housed ideas at the intersection of these lenses and enablers (example: how can we provide an unexpected experience [enabler] for the busy office worker [lens]? Idea: pop-up flower shop near mass transit entrances). Similar creative thinking methods carried us through the next two rooms, and we eventually ended on two refined solutions after narrowing our focus, collaborating on implementation ideas, and identifying constraints and potential drawbacks.

What We Brought Back

Though our simulation worked the florist angle rather than our familiar dental focus, our team easily drew connections back to our work at Wonderist. When it comes to website design, our clients’ problem statements all involve something to the tune of, “how can we best employ a functional, beautiful website to drive new patients to this practice?” Our new understanding of lenses and enablers will add a crucial step to our web design process: ideating with the needs of prospective patients in mind. And not just a universal patient- we’ll be thinking about the family of five who needs convenient appointments, the busy 9-5 worker worried about a lingering toothache, and the not-so-tech-savvy person just looking for an easy, obvious way to book their next appointment. How do we serve these patients with less copy and more imagery? How we delight them during their site visit? How can page navigation make or break their session?

Armed with a better toolkit for brainstorming website wireframes, the Wonderist dental web design team is psyched to get working on our next great sites.

If you are in San Diego and interested in attending future events you can  use the code WONDERIST to get 20% off.

Here are a few upcoming events:

Feb 28th - Designing information architecture

March 28th - Designing user flows for UX teams