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We’ve been running discoveries which often involve a significant portion of remote research and collaboration with distributed teams since we founded Mace & Menter in 2013. While it’s less usual to run an entire discovery remotely, it’s something we will be doing much more of.
A discovery is a phase of research work before we start designing or building any components of a service. It’s about making sure we design the right thing in the right way by understanding:
Discoveries vary in scope but always involve user research and stakeholder workshops. Both of these activities are ideally run face to face, but both can be run equally productive when run remotely.
Running discoveries remotely can mean we engage with a more varied range of users with a broader range of experiences. We can talk to people across the UK rather than in one geographic location without travelling and people don’t need to travel to our research facilities. As long as people have a phone or computer we can reach them wherever they are.
Similarly when we involve stakeholders in workshops, we can do this without people travelling. On the last project we worked on people who had travelled from Yorkshire, the Midlands, Scotland and Gloucestershire to attend our workshops with significant travel and carbon costs. Remote workshops remove these costs and take up less time so we lower the bar for participation.
There are hundreds of tools available to facilitate this way of working but these are the ones that we find work best for remote discoveries:
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As people increasingly work in this way over the next few months, new tools and ways of working will spring up. If you have suggestions or useful insight to share, drop me a note: email@example.com