ASA (British Swimming) UX Workshop

Pool Finder

Today I was running a UX workshop over at Loughborough University, home to the ASA and British Swimming.

The purpose of the workshop was to explore ideas for the ASA 'Pool Finder' application, a simple tool which tells customers all about pool facilities and aquatic events and clubs in their area. The app has huge potential for revenue and brand partnerships.

The aim of the day was to kick start an ongoing strategy that would grow and evolve over the up and coming months.

Different departments would be able to go away with ideas they could implement straight away, other ideas would need to be designed and tested before they were added to the development backlog.

Exploring the business requirements with the lean business model canvas
Understanding customer requirements with personas and empathy models
Participants exploring ideas

Plan for the day

The morning was spent looking at the business requirements. The entire afternoon was all about stepping into the customers shoes.

A lot of prep goes into the workshop weeks before!

Keeping everybody motivated

To keep the energy levels high, we began with the harder tasks in the morning when everybody is fired up. The lighter (fun) tasks are saved for the afternoon. Tasks are done around the room so there's a cognitive 'reset' when we begin a new activity. Refreshments & toilet breaks help too.

Participants presenting back
Participants voting on ideas

Activities in today's workshop

Understanding the business

  • The 5 W's.
  • Review Google Analytics.
  • The lean business model canvas.

Understanding the customer

  • Review voxpop interviews.
  • Personas & empathy models.
  • The user journey.

Creating solutions

  • Crazy 8's.
  • Dot voting.


It's typical with workshops like this that different departments arrive with different agendas. There is a positive side to this because it brings new ideas to the table and different ways of thinking if departments are isolated from each other.

The real value in the workshop is to create a non-judgemental environment which allows everybody to flesh out their ideas, but making sure that their ideas solve real problems based on the evidence that is presented to them from within the business and from the customer research.

By the end of the workshop, ideas which initally seemed like separate ideas converge to create a unified plan that everybody can get onboard with. Now the real work can begin... exploring those ideas and taking them to market getting them out into the real world.

Workshop participants
Exploring who the app is aimed at
The lean business model canvas
The lean busines model canvas with task cards
Personas and empathy models
The customer journey
Workshop participants
Participant design ideas