Gorilla User Experience (UX) Using Axure


Experiments in attention and concentration show that when people are concentrating on something and doing a task they often miss other information.  This has big implications for UX design as well as collecting the requirements and running workshops.

Suppose you are running a workshop for a new retail site and you have a group of stakeholders in the room each with their own agenda. It is important to sketch out the end to end scenario first as a walking skeleton. This is so that everybody understands it as a single process.

This is often the situation where a product manager may have an objective of people browsing their products and hitting “add to basket”. For them that is where the journey ends. The shopping basket (funnel) is some else’s problem. But it is not. Statistics will show that it is the payment screen that is the most abandoned. Rarely do you see a product manager care about that.

Most UX people probably know the 200 lb invisible gorilla experiment. When people are concentrating on doing a task a 200 lb gorilla can literally disappear.

What it demonstrates is that people complete the task despite it. This also works in reverse.  Axure is my gorilla. I have used it workshops and have “live” mocked stuff up. The first part of the workshop I explain what I am going to do and how it works and what will happen at the end. It may seem strange to some people at first but as things get going no one pays attention to me they are all focused on the screen and completing their tasks as well.

The sessions still contain all the usual white boarding, post it sessions, sketching and open discussions. What I do is make sure that everything is captured so that nothing is lost. I do this by having some prep work done beforehand to allow me work in real time and turn the outputs into a clickable journey. The tarting up can be done later. After the workshop.

Generally 20-30% of all information from workshops is lost. Those photos of the post it notes boards are often missing key bits of detail. The flip chart scrawlings sometimes need a translator and are open to interpretation. Participants leave unclear whether the output was good or not until they see it later. By then their memories are subject to their view.

By capturing the information in the room I can play it back at the end. People can immediately see what was accomplished and reach conscientious on the value of workshop. Plus I will still have the original photos of all the boards and post it notes to add to the deck and show the process of getting there.

Just in case you do not know the Invisible Gorilla story, read more on bigthink.com.

 Thanks for reading please share or leave a comment!

4 replies
  1. Geert
    Geert says:

    Axure is great for prototyping but I wouldn’t call it the gorilla 🙂 I agree that when you are well prepared, workshops tend to be great to gather hidden information from the stakeholders. Video could be used to avoid losing bits of detail, but shorter and more frequent workshops tend to do the trick just fine and they are also great to keep everyone in the loop and have all noses pointing in the same direction.

  2. Windahl
    Windahl says:

    Thanks for the feedback. Shorter workshops are good suggestion.

    Only meant Gorilla as in ‘invisible’, not that it does the work.

    I video a lot as well for capturing information, as well as a cartooning. We use it (or iRise) for capturing information and iteration phases. Having a prototyper in the room during the workshop to capture information has worked well and cuts down on the lag time. These tend to be monster projects as well. It is not unheard of having 40 stakeholders in the room where we need them all to work together. Being able to bring people back together and show a consolidated view helps. Of course I have the luxury where I work of a massive room so that there is no interference. Just hive of people all doing tasks.


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