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A3 Creating and Validating User Scenarios

Sharing early concepts and storyboards can lead to better or new ideas, so teams should be prepared to listen, take notes, and pivot on their ideas throughout the process.

Learning Goals
  • Ideating and synthesizing concepts into those with the most promise
  • Forming hypotheses around the key value proposition
  • Creating storyboards to illustrate user scenarios
  • Speed Dating and role-playing to explore user experience scenarios
What to do
  1. Team contract: Write a team contract.
  2. Ideation exercises: Articulate 3-5 potential needs in the form of "How Might We" questions. Generate 50+ potential solutions to these needs. Select five solutions to use as business concepts for the next step.
  3. Create at least five user experience scenarios and create a concept storyboard for each to illustrate an interaction around the proposed technology. Each storyboard should illustrate the scenario context and key stakeholders, the problem, and the proposed solution that resolves the problem.  The storyboards should have the following attributes:
    • Formatted to be very legible in an online survey.
    • 3-4 panels that describe the context, problem, and proposed solution.
    • Briefly describe the action in typed text below each panel.
  4. Recruitment. Find people to interview. Start with potential customers of your business idea, but branch out to other stakeholders in your value flow model. Also, look for online forums, special interest groups, and specific people to fill our your survey. 
  5. Write an interview guide with (mostly) open-ended questions for face-to-face interviews.  Conduct at least four in-person speed-dating sessions with key stakeholders from across your stakeholder map. In-person interviews allow you to ask followup questions.  The interviews should focus primarily on potential needs/desires, rather than any specific idea you have in mind.
  6. Create an "online speed-dating" survey based on this example Google survey and get at least 20 people to respond. Your survey should include your storyboards and questions that will help you evaluate which idea to pursue. The survey could have qualitative questions similar to the interview guide, but could also include quantitative questions that can be aggregated. Make sure to ask respondents questions about their background, demographics, etc to understand how they fit within your stakeholder map.
  7. Create a presentation of your revised business concept backed up by important findings from storyboarding and user research.
  8. As part of your presentation, your team should prepare a short role-playing session to enact a scenario where your proposed solution helps key stakeholders solve some problem.

In your teams' Google folder, create a subfolder for A3. Put your work in it, except for items you wish to keep private.

  • A value flow and business concept (Or simply revise you still have the same topic).
  • A competitive analysis (Revise if new competitors have been discovered)
  • Ideation materials: "How might we" questions, concept generation, idea synthesis (Take photos of these materials if you use a whiteboard/post-it notes or write them up in a text editor)
  • At least five concept storyboards (include early revisions)
  • Face-to-face speed dating guide and data analysis (4+ people face-to-face)
  • Online speed dating survey and data analysis (20+ respondents)
  • Script for role-playing skit 
  • Presentation (8 min max) 
Note: The structure of the examples may be different than this year's assignment due to changes in requirements and grading rubric. Do not simply replicate the examples, but you can take inspiration from them.

Sign up for an A3 presentation slot from the important links page.

Deliverables Due: before class begins on Tuesday of Week 5.


Aspect Question(s) Check - Check Check +
Insights derived through face-to-face and online speed dating
Does the team get valuable insights from both the in-person interviews and online survey? Does speed dating lead the team to refine their business concept?  Very little data collected from potential stakeholders and no significant refinements to business concept. 
The team collected a good amount of data and made significant updates to the business concept.
The team gathered  data over and above what was required and used these insights to make creative and effective changes to their business concept.
Clarity of user scenarios and storyboards (five required) (30%) Do the speed dating storyboards  communicate novel interaction scenarios? Do they include a narrative arc (context, problem, and solution)? 
The storyboards lack narrative and exhibit poor legibility. They would not effectively communicate future interaction scenarios to potential  stakeholders.
The storyboards clearly illustrate possible future interactions, are easy to read, and follow an effective narrative arc. The online survey asks useful questions.  The storyboards are technically strong and legible. The scenarios are engaging for potential stakeholders to critique. The online survey scaffolds effective responses. 
Clarity and persuasiveness of team presentation   (40%) Is the team presentation clear, insightful, and to the point? Does it concisely cover the problem setting, potential concepts (with business value)? Does it deliver useful insights from speed dating? Does the team role play help to empathize with key stakeholders? The presentation fulfills the requirements, but the analysis is superficial and difficult to understand. It's not clear how the concepts provide value over existing solutions. Very little useful feedback was obtained from potential users. 
The presentation did a nice job of framing the problem space and offering a novel potential solution. The team presented valuable feedback collected through speed dating and the role-playing was easy to follow.
The team clearly and concisely presented the problem space and offered thoughtful and generative insights from different stakeholder perspectives. The feedback from speed dating will inform prototyping. The role-playing was engaging and helped explain the vision.