Article
January 7, 2022

How to create alignment with your collaborators

The story of how we adapted the design thinking framework to create alignment and real understanding with our visual creators.
Article
January 7, 2022

How to create alignment with your collaborators

Article
January 7, 2022
Published on
January 7, 2022
Updated on
January 8, 2021

How to create alignment with your collaborators

Article
January 7, 2022

How to create alignment with your collaborators

It’s not enough to hire the best video production company to create *that great* ad for your product. Especially in the highly specialized tech industry.

We’ve tried that before and failed.

We were missing something critical: real understanding & alignment.

We’ve learned this time around ➡️

#1 It’s our responsibility to onboard the agency in our culture.

We know there’s a lot of friction involved in onboarding a video production company. You’re the expert in your product, they’re the expert in visual language.

🧭 How do you transfer that know-how without micromanaging?

We’ve adapted a design sprint step for this purpose: empathy. We created a workshop around what our company stands for, what our users care about, mapping needs and product features.

It included user interviews and other important research data.

#2 We should be part of the creative process as co-creators, not “the client”. Just creating a good brief and choosing the right agency doesn’t do the trick.

To achieve alignment, we were part of the ideation process together with the agency.

💡 Inspired again by design thinking, we wanted to “stay” in the divergence phase and dismantle the problem — to get the best idea out there.

Yet, after a promising first workshop, we got stuck in an unproductive feedback loop.

Alignment seemed to be very far.

So we organized a series of exercises, to iterate on storyboards in real-time.

Together.

👋 Alen-Jelco&Alice&Máté (Sublight)



After that confusing feedback loop, we learned that divergence should be made with as many voices and angles as possible, yet convergence needs a specialist in the field to shape the solution.

💡 The specialists have the tools required to set productive limits and guide the creative process forward.

In our case, the agency facilitated understanding of composition, scenes, moving people in shots etc. — all needed to tell our product story.

#3 Be prepared to say NO to ideas a lot. Including yours.

Part of reaching alignment included generating a lot of ideas, just to debate and discard them.

It was the same as building a new feature.
Iteration, iteration, iteration.
Not falling in love with an idea, but testing it for scope, clarity, and functionality.

We did that by “working backwards” > understanding why a good ad works and probing for:

📌 The key message that the audience should receive
📌 Implicit assumptions and biases that muddle communication
📌 Simplicity instead of complicated explanations (one feature = one story)

Now?

5 people, 10+ concepts & some key design thinking practices later, the new campaign we’re preparing is starting to shape up.

And both parties involved trust in the creative result to come 😁

This article was originally published on

Search Engine Journal.

It’s not enough to hire the best video production company to create *that great* ad for your product. Especially in the highly specialized tech industry.

We’ve tried that before and failed.

We were missing something critical: real understanding & alignment.

We’ve learned this time around ➡️

#1 It’s our responsibility to onboard the agency in our culture.

We know there’s a lot of friction involved in onboarding a video production company. You’re the expert in your product, they’re the expert in visual language.

🧭 How do you transfer that know-how without micromanaging?

We’ve adapted a design sprint step for this purpose: empathy. We created a workshop around what our company stands for, what our users care about, mapping needs and product features.

It included user interviews and other important research data.

#2 We should be part of the creative process as co-creators, not “the client”. Just creating a good brief and choosing the right agency doesn’t do the trick.

To achieve alignment, we were part of the ideation process together with the agency.

💡 Inspired again by design thinking, we wanted to “stay” in the divergence phase and dismantle the problem — to get the best idea out there.

Yet, after a promising first workshop, we got stuck in an unproductive feedback loop.

Alignment seemed to be very far.

So we organized a series of exercises, to iterate on storyboards in real-time.

Together.

👋 Alen-Jelco&Alice&Máté (Sublight)



After that confusing feedback loop, we learned that divergence should be made with as many voices and angles as possible, yet convergence needs a specialist in the field to shape the solution.

💡 The specialists have the tools required to set productive limits and guide the creative process forward.

In our case, the agency facilitated understanding of composition, scenes, moving people in shots etc. — all needed to tell our product story.

#3 Be prepared to say NO to ideas a lot. Including yours.

Part of reaching alignment included generating a lot of ideas, just to debate and discard them.

It was the same as building a new feature.
Iteration, iteration, iteration.
Not falling in love with an idea, but testing it for scope, clarity, and functionality.

We did that by “working backwards” > understanding why a good ad works and probing for:

📌 The key message that the audience should receive
📌 Implicit assumptions and biases that muddle communication
📌 Simplicity instead of complicated explanations (one feature = one story)

Now?

5 people, 10+ concepts & some key design thinking practices later, the new campaign we’re preparing is starting to shape up.

And both parties involved trust in the creative result to come 😁

How to create alignment with your collaborators

Continue reading