Earlier this year, a few of us from the frog London studio had the opportunity to meet with young entrepreneurs from the LBS Launchpad, a startup pre-accelerator program based out of the London Business School. Our team of program managers, designers and strategists facilitated a workshop that offered a glimpse into our world of human-centered design.
Often, we host workshops like this with mature businesses who are trying to reinvent a product or service. What made this event stand out for me was the opportunity to take part in designing a business at its earliest stages, at such an impressionable time.
The entrepreneurs we worked with were just getting to understand what the service or product looks and feels like, its unique value proposition and its target users. They were looking to understand the specific pain points they’re addressing, and how to turn these pain points into moments of delight that wow their future users. At this stage, we’re able to offer impactful, holistic insights to the business that will influence what their offering will be.
Understanding the customer
Putting a face to customers can really help drive the point home. I recall one conversation where an entrepreneur was describing someone who might be using their product, and it made me think to myself, “Oh, I know her.” I could envision the type of individual he was describing, and how the offering could really add some light to her daily commute in the tube. Having a conversation then around how he can design the right thing to design the thing right was exciting for us both.
At frog, we believe ‘form follows emotion’, so we believe in understanding a customer’s goals and motivations to offer exceptional products and services that customers love and generate revenue. After providing some context to the group on frog’s approach and processes, we coached the entrepreneurs through four of the major moments of designing user-centered experiences.
We helped the entrepreneurs realize what their business’ mission and values are and to articulate the customer needs that will be solved by the business.
We developed user archetypes, helping the entrepreneurs to understand who their customers are as key to understanding their business potential.
We helped the entrepreneurs immerse themselves in their user’s lives. What gets them out of bed in the morning? What makes them happy, sad, excited, frustrated? We then ideated on ways to offer delight and make their lives easier.
We coached entrepreneurs through developing a journey map for each archetype, identifying their main touch with the business, the pain points and wow points they will experience.
During the workshop, each entrepreneur’s ability and motivation to step away from conventional thinking, away from the spreadsheets and the business models, to really try to connect and empathize with users–with the understanding of how this will help the bottom line.
Working side by side with entrepreneurs is part of frogs core business in Venture Design. Here we take a hands-on and collaborative approach with founders looking to get to market faster, carve out a unique position and drive discontinuous growth. Working across startup stages, industries and investment cycles, we deliver lasting value to high-growth companies, helping them to realize their vision, fast.
Most new ventures face the same core challenges, whether they are launched by a startup team or a multinational corporation. Resources are tight, time is of the essence, and everyone must be aligned as they step into uncharted territory. frog has a long history of meeting these challenges, successfully launching standalone businesses for industry titans, as well as investing our capabilities into a portfolio of early stage companies. That’s why it’s always exciting when we get the chance to coach the next wave of entrepreneurs.