Whilst we are extremely lucky to already have a cloud infrastructure that supports remote working, we’ve had to make some adjustments when it comes to defining new ways of delivering major project phases remotely.
The first phase of any well-planned digital transformation programme is the Discovery Exercise. Discovery forms a fundamental part of all projects and gives our team of Business Analysts, CRM Consultants, UI / UX Experts and Web Developers the opportunity to gain a critical understanding of client project requirements and deliverables:
The collaborative nature of this work means that face to face contact is preferable across a range of workshops, technical deep dives and user interviews. Last week, however, marked our first experience delivering discovery 100% remotely with the UKCP.
The UKCP is the UK’s leading professional body for the education, training and accreditation of psychotherapists. After selecting Wattle as the Council’s technology partner for the development of its new corporate website, the Wattle team have been hard at work gaining a critical understanding of requirements.
Whilst the discovery process began prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, the creative and user research elements took place 100% remotely from the comfort of the combined teams home offices, bedrooms and kitchens.
Discovery workshops traditionally run for a day at a time. In this instance, with lockdown underway, we switched to bitesize 2 hours sessions via Microsoft Teams video conference. Each session had a core set of aims and objectives.
The first session began with a range of market research exercises using Microsoft Teams for live video conferencing and Miro to enable everyone to contribute and add notes to a virtual whiteboard.
To frame the session, the Wattle team conducted a live SWOT analysis, identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Brand identity and personality are of huge importance when it comes to defining user journeys and user-centric website design.
During this session, the team conducted a number of exercises across a live Microsoft Teams video conference that comprised:
The final live session began with a drill down into key website capabilities. The focus was not on technology, but on defining business processes, understanding the overall user experience and defining user journeys. This is a great way of identifying gaps within current capabilities, or factors that may have not been considered previously.
The final stage of the creative discovery process was conducted by our UI/UX Experts. They crafted a research interview script and conducted video conference interviews with key UKCP Stakeholders, Members and Users to gain an understanding of how they used the website, and to validate the findings uncovered across other sessions.
Our first venture into the fully remote world of project discovery was both a challenge and a success. If you find yourself in a similar position, we recommend the following:
In the coming weeks we will see the initial findings from the discovery phase turned into a working alpha prototype. This will start with a series of flat wireframes using Sketch, which will be reviewed during another 2-hour video conference workshop, and will be concluded with the production of a fully interactive high-fidelity protype using Axure. The UKCP team will be able to test every website interaction and user journey prior to moving into the main website build phase.
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