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Part 1: Identifying challenging tasks


To get participants thinking about and describing the tasks and/or processes that are part of their daily work that could be supported by the digital tool being designed.


  • This activity could first be done by each member on their own, to give them time to think about their own experience, followed by small group discussion
  • It could also be done in pairs, with each member interviewing the other.
  • Finally, ideas are shared and discussed with the full group
  • This activity could also be done ahead of time as preparation if participants are willing


    1. [10 min] Identify and briefly describe the tasks and/or processes that are part of your daily work that you think could be supported/made easier by the digital tool being designed (i.e. the hub/dashboard).
      • List these tasks and/or processes on a sheet of paper.
      • If there are many you can focus on tasks or processes that you find challenging or dissatisfying in some way
      • Some examples of tasks or processes:
        • Connecting with other coop members
        • Getting paid
        • Scheduling work
        • Reflecting on the work you’ve done
        • Rating customers, getting rated by customers
        • Learning new skills
        • Making decisions about the coop / voting
        • Completing paperwork
        • Other

  • Consider also any transitions from one task to the next

  1. [10 min] Share with your group and discuss. Identify tasks that you have in common.

Part 2: Journey Mapping


Journey mapping helps to document the steps of a task or process. Participants are asked to create a detailed “journey map” of the tasks/processes identified in Part 1 (the journey map can take the form of a  flowchart, a list of steps, a storyboard, a mind map, etc)


This section can be done together in small groups.

Part 2a: As-Is Journey Map


[30 min] Pick one particular task or process from your list, and document the task or process as you do it now, in as much detail as possible

  1. In the next part you will be asked to imagine completing the same task with the help of the digital tool.
  2. Think in detail about all the steps you take as part of this task or process, and document each step in some way (write it down, create a flow chart, diagram, mind map)
  1. Be sure to identify challenges or “pain points” in your task/process (see below*)

*For help in identifying challenges and “pain points”, consider:

    • Aspects of the task or process that make you feel frustrated, worried or uncertain
    • It might help to ask yourself what needs are not being met. For example, do you need:
        • Motivation or encouragement?
        • More information?
        • More structure?
        • Less structure?
        • Assistance?
        • To record or remember something?
        • To communicate/connect/share something?
        • Privacy?
        • Other?

  • Also consider what about the task or process is easy to do
  • What makes it easy? Is there something that facilitates this task or process now (a digital tool, a guide, a fellow co-worker, etc)?

    • If yes, describe some of the qualities or features that make that facilitator helpful for your task or process

Part 2b: Best-Case Journey Map


[45 min] Participants are asked to do the same journey mapping as in Part 2a, but now while imagining that they have the digital tool to help them in completing their task

  1. Think again in detail about the steps you would take if you had this tool, and document each step in some way - this may look different now that you have a tool to support your process
    1. Keep in mind the pain points identified in Part 2a and how the tool might help with these or remove them
    2. At each step, consider what you want the tool to help you do.
    3. As you develop your best-case  journey map, document the features (e.g. a “sign-in” button) and/or functions (allow me to see when I last signed in) of the tool at each step. You will use these in Part 3.
    4. It might be helpful to use the worksheet to develop and answer “how might we?” questions at each step (for example, “How might we make the appointment scheduling process more efficient?)
    5. Think about what each interaction might look like. For example: “first I would sign into my account from a sign in page that would open when I first open the tool..  The sign in page should also reveal the main features of the dashboard…”
    6. Don’t limit yourself to what you’ve seen before or what you think may or may not be possible
    7. Consider also the qualities of the tool and the interactions (e.g. friendly and non-intimidating)


  • Once this section is completed in small groups participants can return to the bigger group to share ideas.
  • At this stage the larger group may begin to describe design solutions together (i.e. Part 3 may begin to happen organically). The group can decide to continue in this manner, or to split into (same or different) smaller groups again to explore further

Part 3: Describing and Sketching


To collaboratively explore solutions to meet the needs identified in Parts 1 and 2.


  1. Work in small groups (3-5 people) where possible
  2. Leave enough time (5-10 minutes per group) to return to the larger group for sharing and discussion.
  3. Alternatively, or prior to rejoining the larger group, 2 small groups could join together to present their ideas to each other and critique/discuss


[60-120 min] Examples of artefacts that might be generated as part of this session include features lists, functions lists, qualities lists, hand-drawn wireframes, digital mockups, workflow maps, mind maps*, physical prototypes (lego, cardboard, other), role playing, storyboards or some combination of these.

  1. The goal is to create something tangible that conveys the idea you want to realise. It is not necessary to make it perfect, it just needs to be good enough to get the idea across.
  2. When “sketching” ideas return to your journey map and list of features and functions as you consider what it might look like, how it would behave, what the steps are that you would take when using it.
  3. Don’t be afraid to get messy - this is a space to try things out and explore!
    1. Brainstorm using words, pictures, collage*, lego; by building or drawing or mapping or whatever works best
    2. Role playing the scenario can help
    3. Feel free to look at existing tools and note what you like about them, and what you don’t, and why

*see examples below (additional materials to be provided)

Part 4: Prioritise for Minimum Do-able


To consider what features and functions of the proposed design should be a part of a minimum design “slice”


[30 min] In this last section, participants are asked to prioritise aspects of their proposed designs to come up with a “minimum viable product”.  That is, if only a small “slice” of their design can be implemented at this time, what features, functions and/or sections of the design would they choose.

  1. In your small group, review your proposed design and consider which aspects of it you think are of highest priority for you. Return to your features and functions lists from Part 2a if needed.
  2. Consider which challenges are being met by each part of your design as you make this list.
  3. Identify in some way the features, functions and/or sections of the design in order of priority. This could be a list, or you could highlight areas of your sketches or mockups
  4. Return to the larger group to discuss.  
  5. Identify and document any commonalities between the groups


More worksheets TBD

Some helpful resources

from IDEO HCD kit:

Example of a Mindmap:

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