Innovation Games & Weave

With a small team of engineers, we redesigned the platform for brainstorming at scale from the ground up.

Challenges and Oppurtunities

How Might We...

How might we bring some of the engagement of playing the in-person frameworks to the digital platform?

How might we make Weave's dashboard easier to use while building upon it's already diverse and complex functionality?

How might we offer more control over in-game settings to facilitators without adding complexity to gameplay?

The Weave Design Jam

We learned a lot about what our users' mental models, pain points, and what their dream Weave experience was.

Joel pointing out problem areas in Weave v1

Users making feature requests for Weave v2

A user imagining Weave as a physical space

Users discussing their card sorts

Mapping a user onboard

After the Design Jam, the product manager and I took our notes, recordings, and feelings we got from the day with users and started putting it all on the wall. From the point of view of our primary persona, a scrum master, we walked through what our current implementation and 'what could be' of several experiences with Weave:

  • The trial-to-sign-up process
  • What happens if a user "tried Weave more than one time"
  • How progressively learns about Weave's power
  • Keeping users engaged and informed with email
  • How we could make innovation games feel more socially engaging

Starting the storymap with the Product Manager

Synthesis of the Design Jam with our users

Slide from the Completed Storymap, built with and used by the team for future releases

Redesigning Innovation Games

The team decided that the game experience needed immediate attention. I made made a medium fidelity prototype (I love you, Keynote) based on our research to test with new and seasoned users.

Framework Creation Prototype

Insights gained
We learned quite a bit from the testing, both affirming and defying assumptions we'd made.
Prototypes to Production
After a few rounds of iteration and testing, I worked with engineers to build the redesigned UI and put it out for our users to start creating frameworks and playing some games with them.

I recently conducted an innovation workshop with 40 employees in different locations....


...one participant said “I was dreading a 4 hour meeting on the phone. But, I was pleasantly surprised! The tools we used were fantastic! I felt so engaged. The time went by so fast.”

- Jodi Bradley, Experience Design Strategist, Cisco

Scheduling and organizing games

Getting the innovation more playable is well and good, but being able to schedule games, keep them organized, and other logistic is arguably just as if not more important. Looking at our users' mental models and pain points revealed that this had to be rethought.

Flattening the heirarchy
We learned that one of the most prevelent pain points of users was that they had great difficulty finding their games in the first version of Weave at times. We whiteboarded and discussed ways to make games (aka forums) more accessible, and ended up landing on the idea of flattening the heirarchy, making forums accessible from almost everywhere in the system.
Keeping it all together with components
Flattening the structure of Weave didn't only make it esier to find things for our users; it made it easier to design and develop repeatable elements that could live in different parts of the system. Below is the user flow for the guest list, used to invite and manage participants in a game.
Putting it all together
After taking the sketches and wireframes of screens, the flow of components and states of the system, and defining and applying a design language to promote consistency, I worked with 2 engineers on iterating during standup and on producing the markup and styles.
  • "You’ve done a great job at making the platform easier to use, more visually interesting, easier to understand, and let’s just say:


    a great user experience from novice to power user.

    - Steve Wilson, Panoptika, Inc

  • All of the navigation was so much more obvious and directly-manipulable.


    As a facilitator of many of these forums, explaining how to use the forums became much, much simpler. Overall, an extremely satisfying experience to use now."

    - Eric Rapin, Agile Coach, Salesforce

  • Don't get me wrong: the Innovation Games online toolkit has been brilliant for years.


    But the weave is different.


    It is usable, achievable, believable, and easy to sell as an idea to people not familiar with the concepts behind it.

    - Director of System Development, Covance

  • that flexibility may’ve already been there, I really discovered it with Weave.


    And the explainaon “if it works on paper, it can be done in Weave” is a VERY powerful explaination that will make it easy to advocate for the platform.

    - Director of System Development, Covance