Solving Product Design Challenges with a View

By Adam Lifshitz — Executive Director of Product, Concierge.com

A little while ago, I had a chance to sit with our client services team for the first time to do some work on the future of Concierge.com's mobile app and brainstorm features we could add to better our services on the ground at our clients' events. With only an hour to spare, weeks worth of insights that needed to be extracted and problems that needed solving, I decided to turn to AJ & Smart’s methodology that I read about a while ago hereSimply put, the workshop and the exercises worked wonders and we got all we needed to plan our next moves in less than an hour!

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What we did

I gathered the necessary tools, booked us a room (with one incredible view of NYC) and invited all the relevant team members to join. After giving them a brief introduction on what we’d be doing, we started right away in the following order:

  1. List Problems : Everyone took a few minutes to write down problems they had with the current version of the app. One problem per post-it note

  2. Present Problems :  We took turns coming up to the window with the magnificent background, stuck our problems on it, and explained each one quickly and efficiently

  3. Vote on problems : Using pre-allocated stickers, every member voted on the problems they thought were most pressing that required solutions immediately

  4. Problem Prioritization :  I then quickly prioritized these problems based on their sticker allocation. We decided to proceed with four crucial issues out of the lot presented

  5. "How Might We" :  I turned the four problems into a solution-driven tone of "How Might We" (for example, the speed of the app was an issue, so I asked the team, "How might we improve the performance of the app?”)

  6. Derive Solutions : With the four "How Might We" (HMW) challenges stuck to the window, I gave the team seven minutes to write down solutions for any or all of the problems. At the end of the timer, everyone quickly went up and placed their solutions on the windows under the relevant HMW challenges

  7. Vote for solutions : Once again, the team voted on the solutions they preferred using pre-allocated stickers

  8. Impact VS Effort : Using a simple impact VS effort graph, I took any solutions that had votes on them and through a group discussions, we placed each one in the relevant block for it

  9. Pick solutions :  Finally, with the solutions mapped out, we picked those that require minimal effort and can have a large impact on the app, and began detailing out what needs to be done to implement them!

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I would strongly recommend giving the process a go if you’re a fan of using a design thinking approach to problem solving.

Screen Shot 2018-12-18 at 10.21.04 AM Adam Lifshitz is our Executive Director of Product at Concierge.com. Originally hailing from Cape Town South Africa, he moved to New York in 2017 to continue his career in leading teams to build successful software products. He carries over seven years of experience in the digital industry, and holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Management Studies. He’s particularly meticulous about process and efficient ways of collaborating with people to achieve goals, in business and otherwise. 

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