Now it's time to identify and outline the project's goals, target audience, key features, and success criteria to ensure a focused and effective development process

Kick-off Workshops

We recommend running one or two discovery workshops to kick off a project. In this initial phase, stakeholders gather to define project goals, scope, and challenges and typically involve interactive sessions with project teams, clients, and sometimes end-users to understand the client’s needs, the end-users perspective, and the project's context.

Through collaborative brainstorming, requirement gathering, and problem identification, we would generate a clear project roadmap, defined objectives, and a mutual understanding of expectations and constraints. This process is crucial to align the project team's vision with client expectations and sets a solid foundation for successful project execution.

An illustration of a discovery workshop in progress
Image An illustration of a discovery workshop in progress

Define the research scope

To truly understand your problem statement, pain points, processes, tasks and gaps in knowledge, you need to speak to your end users. Your users could fall into any number of different groups:

  • Stakeholders

  • Customers

  • Internal Support Staff

  • Agents

  • Etc

Rather than jumping head first into interviews, it’s a good idea to plan your research scope, how much time you have, which users are the most critical in delivering any solution, and who we can speak to on short notice. It would help to consider these things before you start calling, visiting or talking to people.

Keeping track of all the people you want to conduct interviews or ethnographic studies with can be pretty painful. If your organisation doesn’t have a participant database, now is the time to set one up. This can be as simple as setting up pages in Confluence or create some tasks in Jira, but ideally, we want to track the following:

  • Who they are

  • Where they are located and any contact information

  • What user groups, types or areas they would be categorised into (it’s ok if we don’t know this yet)

You can use this “database” to keep track of any research they have been involved in and any insights you have gathered as you speak to them. This is vital information to track as it means you don’t keep talking to the same people about the same problems, which may cause you to focus on a solution only relevant to a subset of users.

It is worth considering any external circumstances that may cause issues with conducting research. During Covid, we had to find other ways of interviewing transporters as we could not physically spend time with them to understand their day-to-day job. While this might not be ideal, it helps to be flexible and think of other ways to gather such information, such as diary studies where you can ask them questions at certain times or after specific activities to gather their insights at that moment in time.

Setup analysis and research tools

Now that we have a plan of who to speak to, it's time to ensure you have the right tools for conducting, synthesising and analysing your research insights.

As the pandemic was in full swing, we decided to conduct our initial Transporter research via video calls, diary studies and surveys. While there are many tools out there to help you with this, it is worth making sure you cover the basics:

  • Ensure you send over a participant consent form for signing before you start. This provides their consent for recording, transcribing and using the research for your project.

  • Prepare your incentives. If you can pay your participants for their time, it will help ensure they turn up to the session. Visa gift cards are great for this.

  • Record your interviews. If it’s in-person, grab a GoPro; if remote, use the built-in recording option in Zoom, Meet or Teams.

  • Transcribe your meetings. A great option is or some of the video tools have some great built-in transcription features

  • Store your recordings in a secure cloud drive, only accessible to select team members, along with the consent forms.

An illustration of a group of people filling in forms
Image An illustration of a group of people filling in forms

Track tasks and progress

Task management is not just for engineers. By setting up a Jira board for the research team, we could track who we spoke to and what interviews had been completed, transcribed, and ready for synthesis.

By creating your participant database in Jira, you can tag your interviews with the participant in the same system, magic.

Highlighting your research progress is also a great way of sharing your progress with key organisational stakeholders. It can give them direct access to artefacts and insights whenever needed.

A screenshot of a Jira board
Image A screenshot of a Jira board