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Meaning of Awesome: Supporting Documentation
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Meaning of Awesome: Supporting Documentation


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  • 1. findingawesomeben huggins nandita chakravarti ray kung sandra niehaus(our process)
  • 2. Discover the recipe for awesome by analyzing great products,services and experiences and distilling out the ingredients that fueltheir success. Using these ingredients, Intuit will be able tostrategically inject awesomeness into their product ecosystem andcompany culture as a whole.our mission:
  • 3. The process outlined in this deck shows how ourteam uncovered the recipe for awesome by:•  Defining a process strategy•  Going broad on ideas, then going narrow•  Exploring and inventing new methods forgenerating ideas and visualizing results•  Presenting our strong point of view in acompelling, memorable way•  Working as a group with complimentary creativeproblem solving styles andhow we found awesome
  • 4. Starting with our first group meeting, our team metto dissect and “fall in love with” the problem ofexposing awesomeness.Through participatory sketching, we collaboratedon a process that involved brainstorming products,services and experiences that we consideredawesome.From there, we planned to dig deep on each itemand discuss why we thought it was so great. Wewould then look for affinities in the reasons forawesomeness and group accordingly.These trends would eventually become our front-runners for awesome ingredients.defining the process
  • 5. Our team soon realized that we would need to go both broader and deeper to truly exposeawesome. We revised our process to include a phase of “individual exploration” where each teammember would explore new awesome products and the reasons behind them using a method oftheir choosing. That way, when we reconvened, we would each have a unique perspective to add tothe discussion.defining the process
  • 6. The first step in our process was to generate asmany ideas as possible, using post its to track andgroup our output.We generated about 100 examples of products,services and experiences and coded them from thewall into a document we call the “AwesomeSpreadsheet”.To gain additional perspective, we also generated alist of things that are “not awesome” to identifycharacteristics that should be avoided, or eveninverted to alleviate pain and create positive traits.Using the spreadsheet, we recorded the reason foreach item being so awesome, or not awesome,respectively.going broad
  • 7. Once we had compiled our lists of awesome andnot awesome, we began our phase of going deepon understanding the root causes.This process was to involve product-centeredmethods like user interviews about the WHY ofawesomeness behind favorite products.One specific tool we planned to use was theempathy map (pictured right) to guide the interviewconversations and get to deep emotional causes ofawesomeness.From there, we planned place ingredients on theaxes of 2x2 grids and see how many of the productson our original list ended up in the upper rightquadrant. We would use these products asexamples to present back to intuit.BUT... our plans were about to change...going deep: original team method
  • 8. Upon meeting with Armando and Rosanne at Intuit,we gained some valuable insights that significantlytransformed our process:•  Our exploration should not be product-focused.Instead, it should center on emotion associatedwith awesomeness. Too narrow a focus onproduct might miss contextual factors likeanticipation or brand fanaticism.•  We should not feel constrained by establishedmethods or frameworks. Instead, we should feelfree to develop our own that would be mostsuited to the problem.redirection: meeting with intuit
  • 9. As a result of our conversation with Intuit, our team reshaped our process of going deep. Each teammember would individually explore root causes of awesomeness using a method of their choosing,but we would focus less on product and be more creative in our methods.going deep: individual exploration
  • 10. •  White boarded how awesome things come tobe so through promotional methods, usingexamples like grassroots movements andextravagant product rollouts.•  Experimented with the Twitter analysis toolNeoformix, looking for common themes arounduse of the word awesome in the collectiveTwittersphere.•  Explored the ideas in Stephen Andersons’sMental Notes cards as factors that might createawesome through influence.ray’s method: flows, twitter analysis, mental notes
  • 11. •  Sandra pursued an experimental approach tointerviewing on the hypothesis that movementand re-enactment would help trigger deepmemory associations. In this first effort, thehypothesis proved to be true.•  Four participants were given 5 minutes to listproducts, experiences, or anything else thatcame to mind as truly awesome. The onlylimiting criteria was that it be something theyhad personally used or experienced.•  Participants re-enacted one of their experiencesor products, narrating as they went. Availablefurniture was used to “stage” the scenes, andfellow participants could be called on to playspecific roles.•  Sandra facilitated by asking clarifying questions,or prompting if needed. A senior colleagueserved as facilitator for Sandra’s own interview.•  The sessions were videotaped, discussed, andanalyzed for awesome ingredients.sandra’s method: bodystorm interviews
  • 12. •  Explored the Facebook timelines of six friendsto identify the reasons why people share. Herhypothesis being that people are more inclinedto share awesome for very specific reasons.•  Distilled several characteristics that manifestedin sharing patterns, including things likeanticipation, achievement and discovery•  Visualized each characteristic and documented itwith examples in a process flow sketch (picturedright)•  Interviewed some of the participants to gainfurther insight•  The entire document is located in thesupporting documentation folder located at theend of this deck.nandita’s method: digital field study, sharing
  • 13. •  Awesome Accelerator – Derived from mindmapping and root cause analysis, the awesomeaccelerator (bottom right) starts begins with anawesome product, then branches to what makesit awesome. Each reason is then boosted oneorder of magnitude (ex. “less expensive”becomes “free or open source”) and newproducts are added that match each amplifiedreason•  Cult Brand Exploration – Using ecommerce site“wish list” functionality, he identified productsthat people most aspire to own and brands thatcapture “fanatics.” He then used twitter wordclouds to see the terms that are most commonlyassociated with each – powerful statements ofemotion.•  Engine of Awesome – A concept detailed in ourpresentation that shows how awesome is afunction of many connected factors.ben’s method: awesome accelerator + cult brands
  • 14. •  The individual team members brought backtheir research findings and combined theirawesome ingredients into an awesomedistillation spreadsheet.•  The ingredients were then collaborativelygrouped, and prioritized using a loose affiliatemapping technique. A single representativeterm was selected for each concept. The list wasthen further narrowed to the 10 mostcompelling ingredients.•  The new representative ingredients list was thenmapped against the team’s original brainstormlist of awesome “Ethos/Pathos/Logos” items tovalidate the approach.•  In parallel, antonyms of the awesomeingredients were mapped to the “not awesome”list of items.coming together
  • 15. •  The team explored a number of different waysto represent and structure the 10 ingredients.•  One approach was to explore whether allawesome ingredients pertained to somecombination of the Self, Time, and Context. AVenn diagram was used to map the ingredientsto the most appropriate intersection of theseaspects.•  Another approach was the “Engine ofAwesome”, which represents how theingredients “live” within a dynamic feedbacksystem. This approach maps the ingredients to aparticular relationship point between the user,product and society.•  Last but not least, an awesome modular boxwas created to represent in a physical mediumhow the awesome ingredients could fit togetherin a variety of ways.organizing thinking
  • 16. The team’s presentation plan underwent a numberof evolutionary steps.We wanted to be emotive – so we considered videoas a means of communicating our awesomeingredients. However, we also wanted to bepractical and to spend more time developing astrong point of view than producing and editingvideo.In addition, we felt the presentation itself shouldembody and illustrate our awesome concepts asmuch as possible. For example, we decided to usethe simple concept of a closed box for suspense.We considered what order of presentation wouldtell the story of our ingredients the most effectively.Should we try to overtly connect one to the next?We decided against this, opting to let eachingredient stand on its ownpresenting findings
  • 17. Each team member was able to use at least some ofthe new communication, persuasion, and influenceskills learned in class. For example:•  Sandra (Systematic / Generating &Conceptualizing) noticed Ben’s effective use ofquestions to influence, and focused onincreasing her own range of influence andpersuasion techniques to help organizemeetings and facilitate team decisions.•  Nandita (Generating, Conceptualizing andImplementing) noticed the team’s comingtogether and reasoning, and focused on herown abductive reasoning skills to influence andcome up with creative we worked as a group (1)
  • 18. •  Ray (Conceptualizing/Direct and Spirited)noticed Nandita’s visual skills to presentinformation as well as her deep research skillsand worked to build on them throughpresentation organization.•  Ben (Optimizer / Systematic) noticed that thisproject would require several cycles ofredefinition and adjustment to get the mostinsightful results, so he worked hard to suspendjudgment and be open to changes in the teamapproach as the project evolved. how we worked as a group (2)
  • 19. All the process artifacts supporting this documentation deck is located here: documentation
  • 20. thank you.ben huggins nandita chakravarti ray kung sandra niehaus