Playing the Game
Customers often need a bit of prompting with this exercise. You can help them by giving them a warm-up exercise, such as asking them how they use gardening equipment at different times of the year. Do they use the garden hose to wash their car, water their lawn, or add water to their children's sand box? You can also help them by preparing timelines and/or events that are appropriate for your product.
After you have given customers a few minutes to think about how they use your product, ask them to take a walk around the room and look at each of the calendars that you've printed out in poster format. This will give them a chance to consider the different time frames that you have chosen.
Figure 2.18. Playing Start Your Day
Participants in Start Your Day walk around the room, adding to the calendars as the game is played.
After customers start writing down how they use your product or service, encourage them to take several passes through the calendars. Looking at how other customers have used your product will almost certainly help them remember similar experiences of their own.
When all customers have finished writing their entries on the posters, the facilitator announces a break of about 15 minutes. During the break, the photographer should take a set of photos of the final customer entries. After customers return, the facilitator should review the entries, confirming the results and engaging participants in a discussion about unusual or confusing entries. The facilitator may add clarifying notes to what is written, ideally using a 3"x5" or 5"x8" index card placed next to the original customer entry; this allows you to retain the original entry as well as the clarifying note. When finished, the facilitator should thank participants and end the game, and the photographer should take one final set of photos of the customer entries along with any of the facilitator's notes.