Many Heads Are Better Than One

by Neil Cooper, Director NYC

A Sense Shout Out is a tool we have developed to tap into the creative intelligence of our ‘Sensers’ in The Sense Network.

sense shout out

If you have a pressing challenge, problem or question, we help you to craft questions (up to 3) to share with The Sense Network. A Shout Out is for when you’re in discovery phase and need to go wide to gather inspiration and insight. It will help you to stretch your thinking, reframe challenges, spot opportunities and generate new ideas.

The end result is high quality, fast feedback that will help you decide the best way forward.

We have been doing Shout Outs since the inception of The Sense Network over 15 years ago. We have delivered them for clients, including Benecol, Blue Diamond and BBH and on a peer-to-peer basis for Network members.

Sensers High Spirit produce theft proof rucksacks and we helped them to build their expertise on street crime around the world. We also enabled the Senser team behind Lovlos to get fast feedback to develop the concept and design for their new smoked rye artisanal snaps.


Our Shout Outs were good, now let’s make them great.

Experimental Mindset

We have delivered over 300 successful Shout Outs. While the outputs have always been high quality we knew we could do better. We have been moving towards a leaner, more agile way of working at Sense HQ and have adopted a more experimental approach to how we work. We treat every project we work on as a learning opportunity and set ourselves the goal to figure out how we might improve what we do.

We decided to apply this experimental mindset to a Shout Out.

We set out to learn how we might optimise a Shout Out to deliver the best user experience to get great feedback from The Sense Network.

We set our objectives
The goal was to create a Shout Out minimum viable product (MVP) that helps us establish the best way to design, manage and deliver a Shout Out with The Sense Network, that gets us great feedback

We tested our ideas
We created two prototypes to get feedback on. Version A was designed like a regular Shout Out. Version B had several distinct differences that we hypothesised would be improvements.

We learned from the experiment
We evaluated the data we got back for each versions of the Shout Out. We shared a standard set of questions via Google Forms to learn what the Sensers’ experience was like.

We made a decision
We’ve had some really helpful feedback to understand what worked, what didn’t and how we could design a better experience that delivers high quality feedback for the future.

What we heard from The Sense Network

“I like the idea of being part of a team of ‘reviewers’ and helping top-tier companies improve future products or services. Sense works with very hip clients, and does a great job organizing and shaping the feedback forums. I feel this kind of ‘data mining’ is way more relevant and useful to the client, better than analyzing clicks. The questions are well constructed, engaging and fun.” – Sandy, Boston

“I enjoy meeting creative people who have different approaches to life and points of view that challenge my own views. The projects also make me question myself and my values.” – Jacqui, London

And the things we learned

Video briefing: Providing a video briefing plus written instructions (subtitles!) is the best way to introduce the Shout Out.
Keep it simple: Instructions should be simple and straightforward – Sensers can just ask us if they have any points for clarification!
Mobile friendly: We should use an interface optimised for mobile (Sensers like to respond on the move!)
Say it with a smile: A simple “how are you doing :)?” to start sets a positive tone.
Change things up: We should use different question formats to change up the flow and avoid repetition
Lift the lid: Sensers love seeing the outputs of a Shout Out, so we’ll share summaries of what we learn.


Faster, better Shout Outs for the future

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We will be incorporating all the learnings we discovered during this experiment. We will continue to ask for feedback on Sensers’ experience taking part. We will continue to review our approach to Shout Outs so we can deliver the best experience possible.

The next step for us is figuring out how we should describe a Shout Out. We want prospective clients and members of The Sense Network to easily understand what a Shout Out is, what it delivers and, really importantly, be excited to request one or take part.

We will continue to lift the lid on what we’re doing at Sense HQ. We will keep you posted on the story of how our Shout Outs develop as we try out new ideas and learn from our experiences.

We’ll continue #LearningOutLoud and you’ll be the first to hear about it.

Case Studies

Redefining Sexy
  • Shout Out
Decoding The Depop Buyer
  • Cultural Insight & Immersion
  • Sense Check
  • Shout Out

Also published on Medium.