Mike Smick UX Sketch Sub Page Image

How to Hold a UX Discovery Meeting

You help me, I help you. A UX Discovery meeting can be fun, casual and very productive. You want to get familiar with the client and let your rapport and relationships develop. But you want to get to work. We’re past the sales calls and from here out we want to be able to SHOW and TELL. From this meeting you will be launching several rockets. You’ll be launching into screen design and architectural flow. You’ll be launching into user research. You’ll be launching into deep dive follow-up meetings with stakeholders, partners, integrators and more.

Play a few roles. If you can play each of these roles in the discovery meeting you’ll be able to gather information, make suggestions and have a bit of fun. The roles you want to play all at once.

  • News Reporter – Get the Who, What, Where, When and you will figure out the How as you go along. The who matters a lot more than you might think it does and you’ll spend more time here than you might expect. You need to know who the people are in the room, who this project is serving. Find out the stakeholders who might not be in the room. Are the users internal, external, (probably both) and list as many user roles as you can that will be using the system. Who are the teams? And really importantly. Get down the list of people who you will be doing your follow up meetings with. In the meeting some of those people might even schedule with you right then and there. When is the project expected to start, the timeline, and endpoints. Where will everything live, from a high level. Where will production live, where will development live in terms of code repo, UX resources, documentation, test servers, production servers. Again you don’t need to understand all of this but be a reporter and write it down. Not to forget, What is being built? What is the purpose, what is it replacing, what is the expectation of something new?
  • Sales Rep – You’re relationship building, confidence building and every sales rep knows that s/he has a dependency on everyone keeping up their end of the agreement. But most of all, a Sales Rep is somebody who LISTENS. Shut up and listen. Make a point to turn off your solution brain. When you’re listening, don’t try to come up with the answer, just listen. If you can record the conversation, even better, but make sure it’s within legality and responsibility. A sales rep is a thoughtful listener.
  • Tech Lead / Architect – If there’s already one in the room with you, you probably don’t need to play this role but you might. You’re interested in some of the things you as a reporter are gathering. You want to know some of these systems and document them to take back to the team. If you’re working with a development team on their end, you’re going to ask them about their tech stack. You’re going to find out the number of developers, how those roles are defined. How many senior vs junior devs? Who are the project managers or business analysts if they aren’t part of your team already? Will there be a technology acquisition with this project. Are they buying something and you’re integrating part of it?