Membership is the root of all success. That was the conclusion our team came up with as we went through a rapid design process at the UXPA NYC meetup "Ready, Set, Design!" hosted by the XO Group and Greg Dilley on August 23rd. There were about six teams that presented their solutions at the end of the workshop.
Our charge was to figure out ways to help solve five different business objectives for UXPA NYC. Those objectives being:
- Increase membership
- Increase newsletter subscriptions
- Encourage potential sponsors to contact us
- Encourage potential speakers to contact us
- Encourage potential venues to contact us
Generating ideas based off of limited information
Each individual on the team began by sketching out four ideas and presenting to the team. After seeing other ideas a pattern began to lightly emerge. The following round we paired up and focused on developing two ideas and presenting that round to the team. At this juncture, an common idea surfaced: membership was the core of all of the business objectives.
- If we increase membership, we increase newsletter sign ups through the membership funnel
- If we increase membership, we attract sponsors who are interested in appealing to a large, passionate group of designers
- If we increase membership, we attract venues who are interested in hosting our events to appeal to a large, reliable crowd
- If we increase membership, we increase the caliber and number of speakers who are eager to present to the group
Next we discussed questions we had that would give us more clarity about what membership means. We began to form questions:
- Why did you join UXPA?
- Describe your experience in joining the organization
- How has UXPA enriched your life?
- How can you better serve UXPA NYC?
- Describe the culture of UXPA NYC
Now, we had some information about the value of membership. So how do we grow the organization? Membership is tied to community and culture. If we focus on communicating the vision, culture, and community of UXPA NYC then we felt we had a good chance of achieving the business objectives.
The solution we proposed to the audience was about highlighting personal, relatable stories from the membership. In addition, we discussed ways of building the culture, such as:
- An oath of ethics when a member joined, to increase identity and credibility
- Starting high school or college UXPA chapters - in order to grow members who have built their careers from a young age with the UXPA, increasing ownership.
- Increasing the number of social, ice-breaking activities that would lead to further immersion into the culture
- Presenting membership options using an asymmetric dominant (decoy) effect
The process our team went through over just three rounds allowed a pattern to emerge: that membership was the core business objective. We next built a solution around that assumption. In part two I will go into how we could begin to form ways to test the underlying assumptions about what matters to prospective members, venues, speakers, and sponsors.