Today's installment investigates how Ziba tested AIGA's crowdsourced ideas for moving their organization forward. These ideas had some good momentum already, because all the learnings from Project Medusa were applied to elicit them, but which were the best and the most actionable? Considering a range of hypotheticals systematically—to say nothing of dispassionately—isn't easy for a group, but it's necessary, to solidify goals. We pulled another tool from our kit to make the job easier.
The Consumer Journey
Look sharp, here comes a metaphor: Imagine AIGA's entire membership experience is a net. The horizontal strands are specific touchpoints—website, events, mailings, meetups, anything and everything you can interact with. The vertical strands are specific moments in an individual's journey with the organization, from first hearing about it, to joining, on through renewing membership, participating or donating time and services. Still with us? The net is a version of the consumer journey, a powerful visualization tool. We can experiment with passing individuals and chapters—even AIGA as a whole—through it. As test subjects hit our customized consumer journey matrix, where do they stick? Which strands crossing frame what makes membership special or rewarding? Where are the big holes, which can indicate where something's missing?
The net calls attention to where and when the most valuable moments happen, which allows AIGA to prioritize changes to the membership experience with the greatest impact. By focusing in on the most meaningful strands, AIGA can create new initiatives, events, or even policies, giving members what they want, just when they want it. Ideas from the leadership workshop can be passed through the consumer journey net as well, to see which strands they get caught up in. This makes it easier to choose when to invest more and when something can safely be pruned away or abandoned altogether.
We knew from Medusa's results that the social aspects of AIGA's experience were strong, so scrutinizing all the other aspects that made up membership was job one. The happy halo effect of AIGA's community was only perceptible to members when they actively engaged, like at an event or a conference. Was it possible to stretch that good stuff to the quiet times, between in-person engagements? Ideas from the leadership workshop suggested that AIGA could satisfy that desire to connect more by creating new social platforms on its website. This would provide opportunities for members to easily be in touch with one another and let them establish new relationships. It was suggested that more meaningful variation on the good times was needed, too. Not just more opportunities to meet up for beers, but also gatherings for meaningful critique, focused problem-solving sessions with peers and mentors, and increased chapter-to-chapter interaction outside of conferences. These suggestions and others like them lit up the consumer journey net, with lots of touchpoints and membership moments involved.
What is it Good For?
The consumer journey also works as a visualization tool, helping people see relationships and explain proximities between disparate things. It's another way of sharing concepts that are otherwise hard to explain out loud. Using the tool works well for rallying people, too, because it provides qualified targets of AIGA's future to imagine and discuss.
Aligning on what success looks like without authoritarian measures is often challenging, but grassroots research, leadership crowdsourcing, and conceptual tooling meant the ideas AIGA now had to choose from weren't any one individual's darlings. Ziba groomed the very best concepts further and presented prototype strategies back to the organization's executives. At this late phase, design research functions as a brain-extension for those in charge of leading, providing a visual idea bank, complete with well-crystallized ammunition, to pursue change.
With Ziba's entire project for AIGA nearing completion, we've collected, edited, summarized, explored, prototyped, filtered, prioritized and evaluated... plans for the organization's next 100 years are looking good. Thanks for reading; we hope you've enjoyed learning more about this project.