An exercise in Design-led strategy & deployment
IBM Watson Health had been interested in Protocol Authoring, and had several pilots into the field, but nothing was sticking enough with IBM to continue producing, despite a valuable market opportunity. We needed to develop a plan to succeed and then bring that project to market.
Through the creation of a design strategy practice that put design research at the forefront, a small team over 6 months conducted comprehensive research and created assets that helped create a proper use case that IBM could fulfill in the protocol authoring space, vetting the opportunity with potential customers and multiple stakeholders. As we worked to bring the product to market, we used the opportunity to show the value of design outside of asset production by assisting with buyer research, market efforts, the creation of demo videos.
Randy's contributions and responsibilities involved starting the project, conducting research, synthesizing insights, collaborating with a multidisciplinary team, taking on storytelling efforts, conducting EDT workshops, and building playbacks, leading design activities, delivery of design assets, and eventual handoff of design lead responsibilities.
- Vetted market research derived from 25 hours of insight from industry experts
- Vetted product concepts from 23 hours of ideation sessions with IBM SMEs
- Over 1000 individual quotes labelled and annotated for sentiment from primary research
- Creation of a conceptual product roadmap to hand-off to a product team
- Creation of conceptual product guidelines, design principles, and a bed of research for further guidance.
- Creation of Design Research Strategy team which would go on to produce 3 more strategic efforts (sans Randy)
- Launched 2 months early to market
- Developed story focused materials shown at prominent conferences & delivered to potential clients
- Displayed the value of design as strategic thinkers
- Collaborated with marketing on multiple projects
- Buyer research to understand buyers in the clinical trial space have been used on multiple projects
- Creation of a separate service
2 Design Researchers
80% of clinical trials experience delays in recruiting participants. These delays have a massive fiscal impact on Pharmaceutical companies and the human impact is immeasurable. My first task in Watson Health was to dive into our position in this market, help create a strategy to bring a product to market, and then engage and drive a design team to bring the product to life.
I collaborated with a team of researchers, and together we set out to understand where we had been, what the Clinical trial world looked like (teams of up to 3-30 people of varying skills), and the ecosystem as a whole. I contributed to research plans, research tools, conducting interviews, and synthesizing the information gathered.
We focused heavily on sentiment analysis when looking at Clinical Trial creation, in order to understand the true user needs driving the challenges. Much like every modern business, we realized that basic business challenges such as communication channels were a significant challenge in this industry.
Through collaboration efforts such as Design Thinking workshops that I helped build and facilitate, we brought together multiple stakeholders across our business team to help fortify our research and prepare a way to move forward.
I helped develop storyboards, narratives, and low fidelity examples of where the product could go, which we then used evaluative research methods to figure out which feature sets and pain points resonated the most with potential users. I took a role in conducting these tests, and synthesizing the results.
As a series of final deliverables for the part of the project, we delivered design principles, an experience based roadmap, and a traditional product roadmap for the upcoming development/design team to follow as they set for to make the product real.
Shifting my role into design ops, I focused on getting Design, Development, and Product Management aligned on the strategy through agile practices, the development of measurable targets for the year, and supplemental research plans and practices.
We conducted multiple design thinking workshops to gain alignment across the team and to build out required artifacts, such as persona, low fidelity prototypes, value proposition statements.
Example of one of our Persona. We felt it was important to align pain points from the strategy research to help show why we were targeting these individuals.
I also took an important role in the development of research plans and design thinking tools to help synthesize information from our stakeholders and users as we worked on the product.