John Ellison

Day 58: Training Project Chat & Clearleft Interns Playback

4 min read

Training Project Chat

James Box, Andy P and I sat down for a chat about how we were going to present the training project concepts to the stakeholders. We discussed the presentation structure as well as the questions that we needed to address with each concept. We explored the different objections or obstacles that we might have to address in stakeholder's minds.

possible training project structure


By the end of the session we had a shared understanding of how we were going to approach the presentation and the content that we needed to create as inputs for that discussion. In the meantime, Andy P and I had some catching up to do. We had effectively split to work on two separate concept paths and now needed to come back together and reconvene.

Creating Shared Understanding w/ Andy P

Andy P and I took a short break after our session with James and dedicated an hour and a half to discussing the concepts that we'd created. There were some gaps in our shared understanding and so we decided to do our best to fill those gaps.

We started off with the concept that I had been focusing on, since that was the area where Andy P felt like we didn't have the same understanding.

Looking through the value propositions and the '1-2-3' statements I'd generated for the concept as our base, we discussed the concept at a high-level and in detail.





Coming Together

In asking questions and providing answers, we had a twenty-minute period of back and forth. We were bouncing around different ideas and different languages, but then something happened and we started to click. I don't know exactly what happened but it was a sort of 'Aha!' moment between us and we knew that we were coming closer to the same page.

Andy P sketched his ideas in his sketchbook so that we could think out loud and reference ideas later in our conversation. This, above all things, is probably the most useful process that designers exhibit as opposed to other professionals. Thinking out loud is crucial to creating shared understanding, but thinking on paper (or a whiteboard, sticky note, index card— however you like it), is another level.

There is something about getting ideas out of your head and into the world that makes a huge difference. A lot of people are afraid of sketching because they can't draw well, but sketching isn't about being able to draw pretty pictures, it's about being able to communicate ideas.

That is definitely a big lesson I've taken from my time at Clearleft. Not many people here can draw, but everybody can sketch and articulate their ideas visually. I feel like I've gained a lot of confidence in this area and am happy to exercise this sketching muscle more and more each day...

Moving Forward

At the end of our session, we had a quite abrupt break point and decided to continue our conversation later that day or the next. We had covered a lot of groud but there was still a fair amount of ground to cover. We were definitely making progress...

Clearleft Interns Playback

After lunch I worked on the training concepts a bit more on my own and then jumped into the Clearleft Interns Playback session where they were pitching two product concepts to the team. The purpose of the session was to decide on which concept to pursue for the remaining 6-weeks of their internship.

The conference room held a high energy as we walked in, and as Chris began presenting their concepts with beautiful videos that demonstrated their ideas, I think we were all really impressed at their work.

clearleft interns playback 1

clearleft interns playback 2

clearleft interns playback 3

You can read more about their project and the concept that they've chosen to pursue on their blog:

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