UX - Why is a discovery workshop important for businesses?
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Why is a discovery workshop important for businesses?

What is a discovery workshop? 

A discovery workshop gives businesses the opportunity to see problems, new projects and ongoing discussions through a fresh set of eyes. Even if you’re not sure what it is you want to achieve or where to begin, a discovery workshop can help you create a solid foundation for the next steps that need to be taken. Through a variety of collaborative exercises, discovery workshops are designed to help you understand challenges and begin finding solutions for them. 

Bottom line is; if you need to uncover ongoing problems, understand what it is you need for a potential solution or starting point – or even figure out what the point of something you’re trying to achieve is – a discovery workshop is for you. 

Why do we do discovery workshops?

Workshops help to get everything out in the open and encourage individual stakeholders to come to an agreement on what priorities are. We start with drivers – what are the positives and motivations behind the business – and then go into the current challenges and what we want to develop from there.

The sessions are designed to be fun and give everyone a voice in the process. It’s a great even playing field and something we’re proud of developing here at Matchstick Creative

Discovery Workshops are a perfect way to immerse ourselves and understand all the problems – but also what the MAIN problem is. It can also help to discover WHO we’re targeting. What are the audience’s needs? Why are we doing it? 

Once we collate all attendees’ opinions on the questions we need to get to the bottom of, we can then get a good sense of any recurring themes that need to be addressed, clearing the way for a path to the solution. 

How can a mini discovery workshop help my business?

Mini discovery workshops help us to get an initial, overarching sense of priorities, budget, scope etc. – which is an ideal way to start the discovery phase of a new business, idea or project. Here we keep the session to a topline purpose and handpick limited exercises that are going to draw out a resolution quickly. Preferably, we carry out one activity that helps everyone to have their say on the task in hand. 

Generally, we keep the sessions small and aim to have between three and seven people per workshop. Who takes part in this is factored by the project we’re trying to figure out. For example, if a full rebrand is on the cards, it’s ideal to get as much of a cross-section of the business as we can.  For all projects, a variety of different positions are ideal; as long as the attendees have some understanding of the task in hand. 

What benefits does a full discovery workshop have?

A full discovery workshop tends to take a full afternoon and allows us to deep dive into the issues at length. To keep these workshops as fun and dynamic as possible and get the best out of everyone, we structure them around active exercises and attempt to draw a quick win from each of them that everyone agrees on:

Impact vs effort – 4 boxes where you map the impact of an idea and how much effort they’re going to take. The ideal for this would be an idea that sits in both the high impact, low effort boxes – or high impact, high effort boxes.

Pains and gains activity –  a way to get information out efficiently. It works well as a team to highlight individual feelings and emotions around a topic

Heroes and villains – what are you fighting for/against in your purpose as a business?

Headline news – What is your ambition? What does ‘good’ look like to you and what does it look like to others? 

What outcomes can I expect from a discovery workshop?

All the information we uncover in these sessions helps us to move onto the storyboard phase. This differs project to project, but generally if we’re building anything – from a website to a customer journey – storyboards help to define:

  • What does the audience do before they interact with you?
  • How do they interact with you and your service? This helps us to understand where content is needed
  • What are the next steps? Is there a form that needs filling in on the website – if this is the case, we aim to understand how to end it in order to get the results we need
  • What is the trigger for your audience to carry out a certain action?

At the end of a discovery workshop, if an obvious final conclusion is not possible we will always aim to get a clear idea of what the next steps are. Often, we’ll do a Tone Of Voice workshop (or something similar, such as visual brand identity). It depends on what the needs of the business are. Our sessions are recorded on Miro Boards, which are useful to revisit at this stage and collate insights, discovering what the main points and recurring themes of the sessions were. 

Thanks to these sessions we can form recommendations and use them as suggestions for the basis of everything else to come, making the path to a full conclusion and decision clear and concise – even if not quite final yet. 

Book a Discovery Workshop for your business  

To find out more about Discovery Workshops and how to book in for a session with the Matchstick Creative team, head to our workshops page.