Zebra Labs

Deliver better products through continuous discovery

Validate or disprove your ideas at lightning speed and avoid wasting time on the wrong features

Has your team ever spent ages polishing a new product or feature, only to see users ignore it after release?

Or maybe your team is bursting with new ideas that you’d love to test on users, but you’re not sure which to prioritise – or whether you can even afford to spend time on testing and learning.

Establishing a ‘continuous discovery’ track on your team can help. Spending a percentage of your time rapidly learning and experimenting as a team has great benefits – if your ideas are doomed to fail, you’ll know sooner; the data you collect will help you prioritise and make better product decisions; and the whole team will feel happier, more empowered, and closer to your users along the way.

This is a way of working that lots of product teams aspire to – but how do you actually pull it off, when you’re also busy working your way through a backlog and answering to stakeholders?

Monica and Andrea have successfully implemented continuous discovery on teams in the past. In the first part of this hands-on workshop, we’ll teach you practical tips and tricks for making it work on your team, whatever challenges you may face. Involving the whole team – product, UX and developers – is key, and we’ll give you advice on how best to do this.

In the second part, we’ll dig deeper into how to shift your team’s mindset to one of ‘testing your assumptions’ – an important skill for teams who want to do continuous discovery. We’ll teach you how to identify the risky ‘make or break’ assumptions behind your product and feature ideas, and how to devise quick and easy experiments to test whether those assumptions are true. You’ll leave with ideas for simple, lean experiments you can run tomorrow to quickly and easily learn whether your product and feature ideas have legs.

Attendee requirements

This workshop is designed for product teams who would like to get better at experimenting and learning. To get the most out of this course, a product manager, UX designer and developer from the same team should attend together.

Your team should bring along an idea for a new product or feature that you have not yet tested or built.

If your teammates can’t make it and you’re attending alone, we’ll team you up with others and select one of your product or feature ideas to work on.

We will try to tailor our advice to the unique challenges of the teams in attendance, so also come ready to discuss obstacles your team faces.

Hosted by Monica Viggars and Andrea Jezovit

Andrea and Monica are old friends who have worked together as UX designer and product manager for years, first at Microsoft UK and later at the Guardian.

After a finding themselves at the helm of a large team at the Guardian that wasn’t familiar with the product discovery process, they set to work introducing their colleagues to this way of working for the first time, prototyping and live testing dozens of ideas along the way. This work led to a happy team, and two successful new features that hit KPIs: ‘Weekend Reading’, a newsletter that beat baseline open rates by 6%; and ‘Recommended for you’, the first Guardian feature to increase visit frequency since the launch of breaking news alerts. They went on to teach others what they had learned about building a happy and productive team through a series of talks.

Monica and Andrea have since moved on from the Guardian, but continue to share a passion for helping product teams embrace their users and work better together. They are currently offering private coaching to teams and organisations who would like to get better at learning about their users and validating their assumptions through live testing.

Previous talks

Video: How Our Team Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discovery

The art of the design sprint

What you'll learn

  • Get an understanding of continuous discovery and why it’s important
  • Why collaboration is key to discovering and delivering successful products
  • How to identify make or break assumptions at key stages of the discovery process, and how to devise quick tests to prove or disprove them
  • Tips and tricks for getting a discovery track started on your team
  • How to facilitate an assumptions and tests workshop
  • How to get buy in for assumptions testing from stakeholders

Who should attend

  • Team of Product / UX / Developer who would like to get better at experimenting and learning
  • Bring an idea for a new product or feature that your team has not yet tested or built

Why choose Zebra Labs

  • Learn from leading experienced practitioners
  • Network with peers in the industry
  • Practice and play: explore technologies/
    skills outside of the workplace