You may have noticed things are looking a bit different around here. Gone is the tongue in cheek Kelis reference, replaced by the more serious and purposeful strapline: Problem focussed. Solution obsessed.

These site updates are the tip of the iceberg—the pointy, visible aspects of a deep and involved process of reframing our positioning to better align with what we do best: putting our heads together to devise (and often design and build) solutions to modern business problems.

While we were in the midst of fleshing all this out, it also came time to start preparations for World Usability Day. Held annually on the second Thursday of November, the day acts as a rallying cry heard 'round the world to make products and services easier to access and simpler to use, a topic we care passionately about.

With our new positioning front of mind and ‘innovation’ being the global theme for 2015 events, we decided to flip the typical organisational approach to problem solving on its head, showing our clients how we could help them turn business challenges of any size into solutions with user validation in less than two weeks.

The experience was broken into four stages:

  1. A little pre-session homework to capture some problems.
  2. An internal Hatchd pre-session team huddle to get the juices flowing.
  3. A 90-minute client session to hone-in on the problem, draw out the user journey, work through possible solutions and prioritise the best ideas.
  4. A quick and light-weight validation survey put out-to-market to test our assumptions and gain feedback.

We ran eight sessions over a three-week period, with a mix of government, enterprise and consumer-facing brands involved. And while the problems we tackled were wildly diverse, most of the sessions played out in the same way: lots of discussion, learning, furious post-it scribbling and lolly scoffing—followed by a magic ‘break’ (perhaps some form of sugar-induced hysteria), when the ideas started to flow and build.

Bringing together the key people from the client-side with our panel of specialists for a focussed yet fluid session proved to be an incredibly effective and efficient approach. We were able to unpack the issue and unlock our diverse range of specialist minds to shortcut the common analysis paralysis and move from problem to solution with an agreed validation plan in just 90 minutes flat.

Shit, we were really on to something here. These collaborative, panel-based strategic ‘sprints’ felt like they could replace the traditional planning approach—an often marathonic endeavour. So, we practiced what we preach and did some concept validation of our own; here’s the feedback we received:

We came away with some unique ideas and initiatives with potential to really impact both customer acquisition and retention.

It’s really hard for us to work through these problems by ourselves because we get bogged down in what stops us from doing stuff. It’s good to get suggestions to work out what we can possibly do about it.

We saved weeks of briefing, planning, concepting and feedback time that more traditional briefing processes create. We wish all of briefs could be done this way.

Although our sample size wasn’t large enough to make any quantitative assertions, the fact that all of our clients were singing praises of the session outcomes is enough for us to make this part of our planning approach moving forward.

2015 was the year of innovation; we can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2016.

Interested in working with us?

Whether you have a clearly defined product brief or you're not sure wherein the problem lies, drop us a line for a no-pressure chat about where you are at and how we might help.

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