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I am organizing a day workshop for an custom products online shop startup. They have cool graphic design and strong development team, but did not have any UX or general online marketing thinking. Their website is basic and need guidance.

How can I structure this day ? How long do you think it should take ? It's about UX, but not only limited to it. It can be about marketing and general strategy.

My current idea is

  • define target (through personas) and use cases (through user scenarios).

  • define structure (with card sorting)

  • define objectives (KPI, funnel)

  • ergonomical audit of existing + competition benchmarking

  • in the end, with these informations, offer some basic solutions for rapid improvement.

My objective with them is to gather general info, suggest question that were not thought about, set-up some KPI that I will analyze later, give new perspective, offer some simple instant solutions. I want to be able to cover the maximum i can on the fly, leaving only the heavy-thinking for later.

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2 Answers 2

I think the key is to make sure its perceived as valuable and actionable right away.

Personas, use cases, card sorting, its all non-actionable at first. To shake them up, I would start by opening up the website and everyone say whats wrong with it...write down all the ideas. They will have plenty. THEN, the challenge is to make sure the ideas are smart and doable. Now you can introduce personas as something to validate the ideas...would this idea be good for this persona?

Then you can talk about organizing the whole thing...show competitive sites, compare the IA...teach them what IA is and what it can and can not do. Show them card sorting as an exercise to explore other organizational schemes.

I've seen workshops like this turn into fluffy exercises that people forget immediately. Make sure you have an action list of things that improve the UX that they can attack.

I hope those helps.

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Very true, thanks for the insights. I will tell you how good it went :) –  sacha Nov 18 '10 at 12:34
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I assume that you are doing the workshop together with people working at the company and other stakeholders such as external marketing agencies.

I would suggest that you should focus on the strategic role of the web site and how it should support the company's main business goal. Talk about how the customer support department could be more efficient if the web site could answer common answers. The same goes with the sales department or marketing department or research and development department etc. In which way could the web site make their job easier?

Personas is a great thing to talk about but discussing kpi:s and funnels could be rather hard if the participants are unfamiliar with the subject. That is something that you do at home when you are brainstorming the concept and present later. A card sorting exercise could give you wrong answers because people know to much about what the company does. It's better to do that exercise with the real target group.

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