Bad ideas workshop

The plan for this workshop was to design an awesome dashboard for our users. We invited one of our most experienced users and printed a lot of examples to discuss.

Awesome dashboard1
Ready for the workshop!

Somehow, nobody really knew where to start. It is pretty obvious what a dashboard is, but what is an awesome dashboard?

Start with bad ideas

People might get paralysed when it’s expected from them to say perfect things. They might think of something good, but then they quickly think it was not good enough and all you get is silence… Ask people for bad ideas and they will deliver!

And this is how we started this workshop – by generating bad ideas or describing experiences with bad dashboards.

Awesome dashboard 2
Starting from bad ideas

Revert bad to good

All you need to do next is to revert the bad ideas to good ones. It might seem pretty obvious in our example of a dashboard – of course a dashboard should be ‘simple’, ‘well organised’, ‘self explanatory’ etc. Doing it this way, however, the good ideas get much deeper meaning and we understand why they are good ideas.

Awesome dashboard 3
Bad ideas reverted

A/B testing included

Thanks to our debate about bad ideas, our team paid a lot of attention to details. Probably too much, because we couldn’t agree to one solution. The team split to two groups and they both generated a good design each.

Awesome dashboard 4
Two great designs

As a Product Owner, I struggled to decide which way to go, so we decided to ask other users for opinion. For the next few days, my team paired up and interviewed a group of users – every pair had to explain both designs to a random user, making sure we ask different users every time. This was an excellent exercise – our users felt that they had influence on the product development and we learnt a lot about the users. Win-win!

Key benefits

  • Very easy to start generating ideas, no silence!
  • Deeper understanding of good ideas.
  • Better discussion with users, as examples are often involved.
  • You might discover current issues that nobody mentioned before.
  • It’s more fun doing it this way!
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