Redgate HoloLens Ideation Workshop
On a sunny day in Cambridge, Redgate invited us to introduce them to the exciting world of Mixed Reality using Microsoft HoloLens. As a forward-thinking leader in their industry, Redgate was eager to explore the opportunities the technology has to offer. With Redgate experts from user experience design, engineering and product at the table, we set out on a collaborative journey to see how we could use HoloLens to inject some innovative Mixed Reality into Redgate. First up was a brief introduction about the opportunities and limitations of HoloLens by Max.
Talk is good but experience is better. Now it was time for the guys and girls to try HoloLens themselves - we are still amazed by the overwhelming reactions from first-time users. For most, it was simply mind-blowing to be able to see holograms floating (or even sitting) in front of them. It is a true joy seeing how people get fully immersed in mixed reality.
As HoloLens developers, we experience creating projects for clients on a daily basis but we are still amazed by the endless creative possibilities that mixed reality offers.
The ideaton portion of our workshops is where the holographic magic really happens and ideas began shooting into the heads of the workshop participants about possible applications for HoloLens. For instance, how we could use 3D visualisations to help better explain Redgate’s product at trade fairs - imagine you could simply view all dependencies of different databases in 3D.
In the first stage of the ideation workshop, the participants were tasked with doing a “Crazy 8” - an exercise where you fold an A3 sheet of paper 3 times to create 8 rectangles and have to sketch 8 ideas in 4 mins… Very stressful but the pressure is actually helpful to produce as many ideas as possible, share them with your teammates and then democratically vote on the top 2 ideas. In the next step, we gave a brief feasibility and effort assessment to ensure the ideas were doable with HoloLens.
After the participants settled via democratic dot vote on one idea per team. They had to create storyboards, 3 sketches and short descriptions of each idea in order to help them explain their ideas during the presentation. The overall idea is to consolidate the best sketches as a team.
This is a really fun exercise and it is amazing to see that all storyboards were a consolidation of all team members sketches, proving that everyone added value to the process.
LEAN BUSINESS CASE
So far, we just had ideas but to turn these into solution propositions meant that we had to create business cases for it. For this purpose, we used our amended Lean Business Case canvas consisting of: Stakeholders, Unique Value Proposition, Risks/Challenges, Effort/Investment, Cost Saving/Revenue Generation. This helped the participants to demonstrate the business case behind their ideas. Following a similar regimen as with the storyboarding, the participant’s first drafted them individually and then consolidated the best points as a team.
All the hard work cumulated in the presentation to senior management, all teams were excited to share their ideas, from HoloTrello - visualising Trello cards in mixed reality, keeping everything in sync and working both in the real and virtual world, to Database Dependency visusalisation.
After a very intense ideations session, the senior execs came together and were presented with the final outcome. Mark, CTO of Redgate, particularly liked the idea of using it as a communication tool with potential customers - telling a compelling story of our product.