ShareThis Innovation Strategy

ShareThis August - October 2011

The Summary:

As a technology start-up with one of the most popular social media and sharing platforms for the Web, ShareThis was interested in producing a novel and innovative consumer product offering. ShareThis requested internal data-gathering and brainstorming to generate product ideas from which they would prototype a subset for feedback.

The Issues:

With a one-month timeframe to scope, execute, and deliver on findings, all phases essentially needed to move in parallel. The internal brainstorming was conducted in waves to group colleagues by role and not drown out ideas from the less vocal. Concept mock ups also had to be generated while recruiting and planning for consumer focus groups. 

The internal brainstorming was executed swiftly in order to roll out the company-wide concept voting.  Mock ups provided the baseline for focus group exercises and discussion. 

Methods Applied:

 

 

Internal brainstorming, 3 waves + Rank voting

Consumer focus groups

Primary Role:

 

 

Research Consulting Lead, co-guiding and co-facilitating all project phases.

Collaborators:

  • Research Assistant

  • Product Manager

  • UI Designer

  • Developer

Outcomes:

Brainstorming provided a rich list of potential product concepts, prioritized. Also identified target populations for consumer focus groups. Qualitative and quantitative data outlined pros/cons of each prototyped concept.

Research Details

Internal Brainstorming - Consumer Focus Groups

1 Internal Brainstorming and Rank Voting
Gather employees in groups based on role to generate product concepts. Consolidate results for a company-wide rank voting exercise
Brainstorm activities took advantage of the roles and responsibilities of each group in order to help them with the process of discovering their own ideas. Groups were broken out into: technical, design/product, administrative. 
Concept ideas were consolidated in order to be redistributed to the whole company. We asked everyone to choose their top 5 ideas in rank order. The top 5 ideas were then mocked up for sharing and discussion in subsequent consumer focus groups.   
Whiteboard artifact from internal brainstorm and summary document snapshot
2 Consumer Focus Groups
Use consumer focus groups to gather feedback on popular product concepts and co-design emerging ideas with paper prototypes.
Focus groups were comprised of 3 to 4 participants each to maximize the benefit of group discussion without the administrative (and facilitative) burden of a large number of participants.  Color print-outs of concept mockups were distributed to users for annotation throughout the sessions. Concepts were ranked through a "Buy a Product Concept" exercise. 
Static concept images of potential product innovations

© 2017 by Peter Roessler.