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Improving digital experience using the solution studio

We've all been there. A project is given to you and you don’t know where to start or how to approach the problem.

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I was working on an assessment to analyze the cruise industry digital experience and propose a solution to improve the booking flow for consumers. I completed all my research and had a good amount of data to start my design. I could have started my designs keeping in mind the major goals and features that I had identified. Instead, I thought…

Could Solution Studio Help?

My UX lead suggested that we conduct a Solution Studio with a cross-functional team. In the past, we had used collaborative design sessions with designers, but this was new because it involved people from various disciplines right up front. The Solution Studio methodology provides a  process of brainstorming, sketching, presentation, critique and iteration, leading to a shared vision and hopefully a more judicious and elegant solution.

DL solution studio

The  Solution Studio provides a structure to enable collaborative idea generation using both individual and group insights. The goal is to achieve an initial solution built upon cross-functional team consensus.

We chose a group of individuals from different backgrounds such as Digital Brand Strategists, Business Analysts, Developers, User Experience Architects, Project Managers and Visual Designers. Everyone gathered in our conference room and started several rounds of rapid sketching, presentation and critique. After several rounds into the Solution Studio, I noticed how people from different perspectives look at a problem. Visual Designers and User Experience Architects were looking at the solution from an aesthetics and usability point of view. Business Analysts provided great insight into scenarios and flows, while brand strategists brought insights into consumer behavior and emotional context.

A New Approach Was Revealed

Through the process of the Solution Studio, we identified a common theme that would solve the issues with many cruise booking experiences: “What if the website acted as a travel agent?” This theme helped me start the design process. It gave me a new perspective from which to look at my problem.

Solution Studio can be a great tool for collaboration, synthesizing and evolving concepts. It breaks the mold of traditional agency design by committee. There are no rock stars in collaborative design.

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