Back and Forth
What is the Back and Forth card?
Think through an idea as if it’s a conversation to better understand how it should flow.
Whatever artefact or system you want to create (or change), imagining someone’s encounter with it as a dialogue helps you identify key moments and design friendlier interactions.
How to use the Back and Forth card
Tip: use this activity as a role-play between two people in real-time, or do it asynchronously online with a bigger group.
1. Each spend 5 minutes capturing all the “What should I do?” or “How do I...?” type questions a user might have when encountering your idea. You can use a Mind Map for this.
2. Decide who will play the user, and who will be the voice of your idea, then try your first conversation out loud, without taking notes.
The “user” should begin asking questions, starting wherever they expect the experience to begin. And the product/content/system should reply with whatever feels like the most helpful answer.
3. Spend 2 minutes discussing anything that stood out from the conversation. Was the order confusing? Were there any questions that didn’t have a readily available answer? Were there any obvious opportunities to be upbeat or playful? Any moments that felt especially sensitive?
4. Work through the conversation again, this time capturing each question and response on sticky notes.
5. Spend 5 minutes improving the flow however you can. What elements can you re-order? Is there anything you can remove? Anything you can make clearer?
6. If any gaps in your knowledge have been highlighted, make a plan to gather the information you need.