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Field Guide to Rapid Experimentation


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The Rapid Experimentation Field Guide is a tool to use when applying the design-thinking principles of rapid experimentation to determine how (and if!) your idea aligns with your customers' needs. It’s design-thinking with a splash of lean startup best practices to help you learn how to iterate on your ideas and make better, more successful decisions about evolving your products.

Field Guide to Rapid Experimentation

  1. What is Design for Delight?Intuit’s #1 Core Capability“Design for Delight” is about evokingpositive emotion throughout the customerjourney, by going beyond customerexpectations in delivering awesome productexperiences that people want to tell theworld about. Design for Delight principlesare practiced throughout the company, andhave become Intuit’s #1 core capability.Customer-Driven InnovationIntuit’s Innovation FrameworkWe afford our employees the autonomy totap into their own passions to delightcustomers and grow the company. Weencourage our employees to know ourcustomers - watch them, listen to them, visittheir homes and workplaces - so they candiscover and solve important problems forour customers.with durableadvantagefind animportantproblemthat we andthose we enablecan solve well
  2. YourChallenge“Make New York Happy”Learn the principles of rapidexperimentation by runningexperiments on the streets ofNew York City.
  3. Why Experiments?We use rapid experiments to quickly test themerit of our ideas, and generate new insightsabout our customers. By testing ideas usingreal customer behavior, we quickly separatewhat customers say, from what they actuallydo in the real world.Experiment to learn, not validate• Change opinions into facts• Prove or disprove our assumptions• Discover surprises about our customer• Make more informed decisions• Use data to help tell our storyHow to Experiment?First, document a bold vision for which youwill attempt to create an idea customerslove. Next, make your idea tangible by listingyour 1) customer 2) problem 3) solution.Next, run experiments with real customersusing the “experiment loop”. Run multiple“experiment loops” until you havedetermined if your idea is viable (or not).Rigor InspirationRapid Experiments idea132vision
  4. Rapid Experiment Loop1. Leap of Faith Assumption (LOF)Your LOF is the most important behaviorthat must be true for your idea to work. Youassume it to be true, but have not yetproven this assumption with evidence.“Participants will run experiments”2. Build ExperimentsBuild the absolute minimum required to testyour assumption. Document a hypothesisand minimum success criteria, and be sureto measure real customer behavior.“If we do X, Y% of customerswill behave in way Z”3. Learn & DecideReview metrics from your experiment, andthe surprises you observed. Discuss whyyour hypothesis passed or failed, and newcustomer insights you discovered. Decide ifyou will change your idea (pivot), continue(persevere), or run additional experiments.“Pivot - the experiment failed”Ready, Set, Go!Go run your experiment with real customerson the streets of NYC. Yes, outside!00:10 Find a suitable location00:05 Set up your experiment00:20 Run your experiment!00:10 Return to Master Class locationNOTE: You must be back in :45Tips...• Assign 1 person at a time to be the “re-corder”, switch every 8 minutes.• Record exactly what happens, in detail.• Learn “why or why not” - savor surprises.• Be neutral, avoid confirmation bias.• Don’t do anything disrespectful or illegal.• Take pictures, ask for feedback.
  5. 1 Hopscotch to GoInsights: People are more willing to trysomething fun if they see others doing it.Vision: Moments of fun on the goIdea: For busy New Yorkers on the go, create aquick game they can play on the street.LOF: People will take time to play quick gamesHypothesis: If we create a hopscotch game onthe street, 25% of passers by will play the game.Experiment: Using the chalk provided, create ahopscotch game on the sidewalk. Start playingthe game, and see how many others join you.The game should be simple and quick to play.Behavior:Minimum Success Criteria:Experiment NotesMetrics:Observations:
  6. 2 Airplane CompetitionInsights: People are more willing to trysomething fun if it’s a competition.Vision: Moments of fun on the goIdea: For busy New Yorkers on the go, create aquick competition between players.LOF: People will take time to join a competition.Hypothesis: If we create a quick competition,25% of passers by will join the competition.Experiment: Set up a paper airplane contest onthe streets of NYC, where participants are askedto create and fly an airplane of their own design.Consider using time aloft or distance as themeasure, or come up with your own ideas if youprefer. Use the paper and materials provided.Behavior:Minimum Success Criteria:Experiment NotesMetrics:Observations:
  7. 3 Funny WalkersInsights: People are willing to do something funif the effort is minimal.Vision: Moments of fun on the goIdea: For busy New Yorkers on the go, create afun experience which can be played as they walk.LOF: People are willing to look silly in publicHypothesis: If we start “walking funny”, 25% ofpassers by join us in walking funny.Experiment: Begin a “funny walkers” line at oneend of any city block, then walk to the other endof the block. Attempt to get others to join you,repeating the funny walk.Behavior:Minimum Success Criteria:Experiment NotesMetrics:Observations:
  8. Pay it ForwardInsights: People are inherently generous,especially when they see others being generous.Vision: Moments of generosity on the goIdea: For busy New Yorkers, help them take partin random acts of generosity.LOF: People are generous if given the chanceHypothesis: If we create an opportunity to begenerous, 50% of people will take advantage ofthis opportunity.Experiment: Visit a local coffee shop and wait inline to purchase coffee. When paying, offer topay for the coffee of the person behind you. Askthis person to “pay it forward” by buying coffeefor next person in line. See how many people inline continue the “pay it forward” process.Behavior:Minimum Success Criteria:Experiment NotesMetrics:Observations:4
  9. 5 Wallet DropInsights: People are inherently good, and will dothe right thing if given the chance publicly.Vision: Moments of kindness on the goIdea: For busy New Yorkers provide anopportunity to help another person.LOF: People will do the right thing and help.Hypothesis: If we create an opportunity to helpsomeone, 75% of people will help.Experiment: As you walk, drop a fake wallet onthe street in a manner that others will notice. Seehow many people alert you to the fact youdropped the wallet. Be sure to make it obvious topassers by that your wallet has been dropped.Behavior:Minimum Success Criteria:Experiment NotesMetrics:Observations:
  10. Learn & DecideResults: Why did your experiment pass or fail?New Insights: What is your biggest surprise?Make a decision: What will you do next?Pivot(change direction significantly)Persevere(continue, we’re onto something big)Iterate(try again with a few minor tweaks)Update Idea: How will your idea evolve?
  11. NotesNow What?“The secret to getting ahead, is gettingstarted.” - Mark TwainThere’s no better time than the present tolead the charge in your organization. Don’task permission, just get started!How to Lead with Experimentation:1. Champion a grand vision.Grand visions are ambitious, tangible andmemorable, and focused on your customer(not on you or your business).2. Install systems & culture to enablerapid experimentation.Make experimentation easy for everyone inyour organization.3. Pull insights from success and failure.Savor the surprises from your experiments,both positive and negative.4. Live by the same rules yourself.Recognize your idea is just one idea. Canyour team find even better ideas?
  12. Thank You!Thanks for joining us today, andyour willingness to get outsideyour comfort zone.For more information regarding Intuit, or tosearch for design related careeropportunities, please visit us at: