The folks at VideoBlocks have a good thing going: a loyal subscriber base for their stock video service, an energetic and talented team, a charismatic founder. They want to build on their current offering with a new product. 

The team suffered from a really great problem: they had too many ideas and a ton of energy, but they needed focus and direction to move the team in the right direction–and they needed it fast.

The process

Their COO, Guru, reached out to me with an interest in using Lean UX methods to help bring a strategic focus to their new plan. I worked out an approach for a 2-week plan that would bring focus to the product and provide direction for the team. In Agile parlance, this is sometimes called Sprint 0.

I met with the team to get a sense of their current product offering and the core competencies of the team and the opportunity that they saw emerging in the market. We reviewed data and research that supported their insight. Once established, we discussed what could be possible for a new product. Together, we were able to define a problem statement that reflected the opportunity in the marketplace.

Sketching about the future of video.

The highlight of the engagement was the sketching session. Conducted over pizza and beer after hours, I led a group of VideoBlocks team members through the 6-1-1 sketching session format. It provided the perfect opportunity to surface the wide array of ideas that the team had for addressing this problem, then provided the focus we needed to drive the product in a clear direction.

The solution

Based on the work from the sketching session and the early research into VideoBlocks’ known market opportunity, I presented the team with a report that included competitive analysis, lightweight proto-personas.

Personas and strategic recommendations (obscured)

Built against known assumptions, the personas were used for infrastructural recommendations, rough sketches of a new UI, a series of hypotheses that can be tested against the initial design, and finally, a series of principles that will guide future decisions on the product.

Illustrative wireframing helped facilitate conversations about future directions.