Visual Thinking Australia is a startup which runs practical workshops and seminars to help participants improve communication in their workplaces. The sessions teach participants how to visualise complex ideas and processes using award-winning author Dan Remy's visual toolkit.
The business owner was just beginning to run events and wanted to sell 50 tickets for his 2-day seminar in April.
We focused on professionals who satisfied these criteria to make them viable participants for VTA's seminar:
We looked for existing research around the quality of communication at work to see if there was a need for training in this area.
"Communication barriers in the modern workplace" (2018) by The Economist Intelligence Unit polled over 400 senior executives, managers and junior staff in the US. They found that:
The report also confirmed the need for communication training. 62% said firm-wide training to improve internal communication would significantly improve communications at work.
Our team attended Chris' first workshop, run as an interactive taster class, and carried out brief intercept interviews with the attendees. We also conducted an additional 15 interviews with contacts within our networks across a wide range of industries.
"Beginners don't understand complex laws or policies."
"My patients don't understand the procedures we do."
"Issues come from miscommunication and poor knowledge of others' needs."
We ran a survey to gather insights on current communication standards and access to training in Australian workplaces. We posted it on Visual Thinking Australia's social media accounts and also ran a paid Facebook ad campaign to attract respondents.
Of our 16 Australian respondents:
The client told us that they were spending a large proportion of their capital on Facebook ad campaigns. Their latest video adverts had an average playtime of just 1-2 seconds and were being broadcast to a broad range of interest groups.
From our survey results, we found that only 15% of respondents used Facebook to look for professional development courses. We proposed that the client worked with professional bodies and networking events to raise awareness of his company's training events instead.
Collating our research insights, we sought to identify which personas could bring the most revenue to the client, what their most significant pain points are, and which opportunities we could leverage to add value to their journey.
By clustering the data from our surveys and interviews, we identified three personas who seek training opportunities and would benefit from Visual Thinking Australia's seminar.
This allowed us to understand their needs, behaviours and pain points better so that we could help them with their search for relevant training.
Presenting the three personas to the client, we established that Megan would be the most profitable persona to focus on.
Like David, she holds an education budget; however, as Megan has a less senior role, she accounts for a higher number of working professionals than David.
To put ourselves into Megan's shoes, we painted a picture of the difficult circumstance she finds herself in when she discovers that her team is underperforming. This empathy map revealed more in-depth insights into her needs so that we could approach the problem from her point of view.
Equipped with a better understanding of Megan's challenges when faced with her team underperforming, we mapped out the steps she takes to improve her staff's productivity.
By mapping her journey, we were able to identify the area of greatest opportunity for Visual Thinking Australia to help Megan.
We saw the lowest point in the journey as the greatest area of opportunity for helping Megan. However, we found that there were 2 points which Megan found equally difficult. We needed to decide which one to focus on:
For each opportunity, we conducted two rounds of "Crazy Eights." we each sketched eight ideas on paper before presenting them, then voted on our favourites. In the second round, we each merged the best ideas and voted on the winner.
This solution and the others we brainstormed were centred on the client networking and creating opportunities to pitch his training courses to a relevant audience.
This solution involved creating a digital experience, allowing us to put our skill sets to better use.
With our sights set on creating a landing page with details about the seminar on Visual Thinking Australia's website, we sketched our ideas on paper before prototyping and testing our concept.
We sourced testers who fit Megan's persona. In each iteration, we used their insights to improve the prototype until we had produced a solution which helped Megan decide whether the course was right for her.
We set out to create a landing page which showed Megan the value of Visual Thinking Australia's 2-day seminar. We looked through their existing promotional material and conducted competitor research to identify features we could use in the page to achieve this goal.
We then sorted the features based on their difficulty of implementation (based on my previous development experience) and their value for Megan (based on our research insights), prioritising the "quick wins". This activity ensured that the page would be both useful and viable to build.
Lastly, we discussed how to order the components in a way that would make sense for Megan's situation and began to sketch out how each element might look. We moved these sketches into Figma, giving us a low-fidelity prototype we could test with.
By testing with people who matched Megan's persona, we aimed to find out whether our prototype could:
In our initial prototype, although 4 out of 4 testers could navigate to the seminar details page, our testers couldn’t yet see the value in the page:
"I want transparency about pricing upfront."
With copy and low-fidelity images in place, 3 out of 5 Megans said they would consider joining an event like this. However, there were concerns around the information on the page, with 4 out of 5 Megans requesting more details on details such as price, venue location, objectives, speakers and takeaways.
"It's taking very long to understand"
During testing, we found that our testers struggled with the homepage in its current state. It became clear that our work needed to look at the site as a whole to achieve its goal.
We collected insights on the home, events and contact pages and began iterating on them.
During testing, we found that Megan wanted additional features in the prototype to decide whether the course was right from her. These included:
We added these features and tested to ensure that the new content was useful.
“The illustrations make the technique seem approachable"
We created a visual style which included sketches from the course content. We aimed to create cohesion between the website and the course, reducing the disconnect between the website and the EventBrite page.
Validating the prototype
“It offers training programs to improve communication using visuals"
“It shows the technique is approachable"
“It’s simple and clear"
“I want to see a rough agenda"
“I want to see the venue, objectives, speakers and takeaways"
“Oh, it’s on sale!"
“I’d like other options to tailor it to my company’s needs"
“When you see it for yourself and it makes a lot of sense, you think 'well why wasn’t I doing that before?'
I’m really happy with the work you’ve done here and I think we’re going to get a lot of value out of it."
The client is reviewing the research insights and our recommended next steps and is changing their marketing strategy accordingly.
While Covid-19 disrupted the seminar planned for April, they are on board with the proposed solution and are looking to develop the prototype for their next seminar.
We continue to stay in touch around ongoing developments.