Written By
Sara McGuyer
March 02, 2016
Posted In


March 02, 2016

Today I pretended to be a computer, all in the name of improving client experience. It was kind of hilarious.

Do I make a good computer or what? Wait... don't answer that.

As part of our training with Cooper, we were practicing a method called bodystorming. It's like role playing mashed up with improv, with props thrown in for good measure. And you might play an inanimate object, or a human. Or maybe both, all in the span of a few minutes! After being a computer for a while, I needed to transition to a playing SmallBox strategist. 

Our group – Abby, Dan, Jenny and I – were bodystorming our Factory Day offering. We had already mapped out our current process, then generated some new ideas to improve the experience. During this bodystorming, we focused on what it's like for a client before their Factory Day session. How might we improve communication and clarity? How might we prep people to get the most out of their day? And how might we delight people along the way?

We laughed and got silly with it, but we also found some gaps in our communication, and validated or challenged some of our service improvement ideas. Bodystorming pretty quickly illuminates things that are awkward or lacking. 

If you want to try this method, all you really need is a rough concept of an experience to act out, a few people, some space, some props and an open mind. You can simulate physical spaces with pieces or paper or cardboard, or by repurposing existing furniture. Different people are assigned roles. In our example, Dan played the client, Abby was SmallBox, and I played the role of technology. Once roles are established, you act through the experience you want to test. From there, it's just like any other role play you might have tried. 

Bodystorming can be a little intimidating to get started. It's pretty important to establish a judgment free zone. For some, it might be more comfortable to start as an observer. You need a note taker who can record ideas and notice opportunities. The recorder can cycle into another role later on after getting to see how it's done. 

When you first try it, you might wonder, "Am I doing this right?" Probably the answer is yes. Just keep going and exploring!