The problem

We were consistently hearing the words 'engaging' and 'interactive' in user research, and were finding it difficult to define and explore them in usability sessions. We hypothesised as a team that it would be useful to run an in-person workshop to explore what engaging and interactive meant to users.

Our approach

We decided a co-design workshop run in person, would be a good way for us to explore engagement and interactivity with users. We designed a workshop with 4 tasks.

###Task 1: Make a collage Using inspiration from this article, we curated a list of words, phrases and images that:

  • were synonyms of engage or interactive
  • were atonymns of engage or interactive
  • were related to a form of engagement or interactivity

We asked participants to create a collage using the words, phrases and images that best resonated what engagement and interactivity meant to them when doing training. We purposefully didn't provide additional context about our service being online, because there may have been nuances around in-person training that they found valuable. We also included words and images with negative connotations, as we didn't want to lead them down a positive route if they didn't feel that way.

Task 2: Group discussion

We provided additional context at this stage; that our training was an online course. We invited the participants to discuss what made online training engaging and interactive, why, and how we could do this in our course.

Task 3: Prototyping

We asked participants to draw or write out any of their ideas of what engaging/interactive training could look like. Originally, we asked them to only draw, but participants were tentative with this idea, so we opened it up for them to create storyboards, maps, or just write things down. We then had a discussion about what they had created.

Task 4: Feedback on our ideas

If we had time, we wanted to get some feedback on early designs that we had been experimenting with as a team. This was really valuable, as it meant we could get feedback on some really low-fidelity ideas and iterate them rapidly in future sprints.

General findings

  • Participants chose images that were playful, action-based and community-based
  • Participants favoured words like participate, motivating, visual and relatable
  • Participants felt negatively toward competition
  • Participants valued practical activities and things that were relatable to their settings
  • Participants wanted to support mentees and junior colleagues in the training
  • Participants valued a community to be able to discuss things with, especially participants who were childminders

Detailed findings

Please get in touch with the team if you'd like to look at more detailed findings

Next steps

We have taken into account the feedback we received about the experimental ideas, and made iterations to them. We have also created some backlog features in response to the ideas the participants suggested. We can also keep in mind the kinds of words and images that participants valued more than others, when coming up with ideas.