Capturing Customer Context (Improv + UX Research)

Now that the world’s turned upside down, the need for a rich and renewed understanding of our customers is greater than ever. And as our devices become more complicated – voice, touch, haptics, gesture – this need will remain with us. Personas don’t capture the whole picture; they focus on the surface and not on the surroundings. Where is your customer? Who is with them? How do they feel? In this workshop, you’ll learn to employ the same framework professional actors do to explore the full complexity of your customers and their context, while laying out a strategy for partner engagement.

Improv actors cope with this infinite canvas every time we walk onstage, and at my theater we use a particular storytelling shorthand called CROW to remind us of the elements needed to tell a full story. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to apply that same framework to ensure you’re getting a complete picture of your customer’s context.

Available in half or full day formats. Half day format will cover a summary of the shared understanding workshop. The full day format will run a complete mock shared understanding workshop end-to-end and is an excellent choice for corporate teams taking the class together.

Workshop Outline

  • Part 1: Landscape
    • Why is context more important post-pandemic?
    • CROW Overview: Character, Relationship, Objective, Where
    • Paired CROW Interviews w/ Worksheets
    • Improv Exercises (varies with length and size of workshop)
  • Part 2: Strategy & Execution
    • Overview of the Shared Understanding Workshop
    • Introduce the materials (handouts and MURAL board)
    • Put it into practice
      • SHORT WORKSHOPS: Selected Exercises
      • FULL DAY WORKSHOPS: Complete workshop dry run
      • Next steps & other techniques

As seen at…

Image of the MURAL template for the Capturing Customer Context workshop.
In hour 2 of this workshop, you’ll learn how to deploy this MURAL template or a series of related printouts to run your own customer context workshop.

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