Polaris Workshop

Organizations who offer products and services often conduct a lot of research with their existing and potential customers. As organizations, offerings, and research all grow several serious problems occur:

  1. Bad memory. The organization becomes bad at connecting the dots between pieces of knowledge and wisdom created and collected through time.

  2. Research silos. Many departments and teams conduct research in the organization yet there is no one way to make sense out of ALL the piles of data being collected.

  3. Reports. The atomic unit of a research insight is almost always long, fluffy reports centered on what was found in a study and are not granular enough to be used in the future. Many studies start with specific goals but end up finding additional important data. Reports fail to convey this data and make it accessible in the future.

  4. Research dictatorship. The only people “allowed” to come up with conclusions after research studies are completed — are researchers. Teams and individuals with product ideas need trained researchers to conduct valid and reliable studies that yield useful knowledge. These researchers are the only ones with access and supposedly memory about past research.

The Polaris system is designed and has proven to solve all of these problems.



  1. What is the Polaris system and how it works.

  2. Understand considerations for putting the Polaris system in place

  3. Develop a taxonomy for classifying insights.

  4. Understand and practice adding insights to Polaris.



The workshop is delivered in two optional formats:

1-day workshop

  • Big challenges with customer insights
  • Introduction to Polaris
  • Defining a research nugget
  • Exercise 1: What is the atomic unit of a research finding in your organization
  • Exercise 2: Creating a taxonomy of tagging nuggets
  • Selecting a tool for Polaris
  • Connecting observations with evidence
  • Exercise 3: Transforming user interviews into nuggets
  • Dealing with logistics (recruiting, recording, cadence)
  • Polaris use cases you can learn from
  • Promoting Polaris among stakeholders
  • Q&A


2-day workshop

The 2-day workshop includes the same content as the 1-day workshop with one major difference: the exercises are turned into longer work sessions. By the end of the workshop you will have a working Polaris system you can start using immediately.

To bring the Polaris workshop to your organization or conference, contact Tomer directly at tsharon@gmail.com. 



The workshop is tailored to small group of attendees. The day-long workshop is for up to 25 attendees, while the recommended number of attendees for the 2-day workshop is 12.

We will need:

  • A stable wifi connection for all attendees and instructor.

  • A great set of speakers to which I can hook my Macbook Air. The workshop introduces several videos and we will need an excellent sound system.

  • Office equipment based on this list (notice that some items would need to be purchased in larger numbers based on the number of attendees): http://amzn.com/lm/R1TONZEMTCAH2S

  • A room organized in group seating. Each group is 4-6 people. Here is an example for a space and setup that works well:



Who is the workshop for? 

  • People involved in product development (designers, developers, engineers, product managers, product owners, startup founders, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs)

  • Organizations interested in, intrigued by, or passionate about Lean Startup or Agile development

  • Organizations and teams that would like more structure and process around their experimentation, validated learning, and customer development.

Workshop attendees will receive a complimentary copy of Tomer's book, Validating Product Ideas.


About The Facilitator

Tomer Sharon is a Lean Startup and UX practitioner. He is a leading voice on the topics of design thinking, validated learning, user experience, and lean methodology and is a highly sought-after author and international speaker. He is VP of User Experience at WeWork based in New York City where he is leading a group that designs work and living spaces, communities, and services around the world. At WeWork, Tomer has led thinking, design, creation, and implementation of a Polaris system with great success and outcomes. Tomer is the author of the book, Validating Product Ideas through Lean User Research (2016) and author of, It’s Our Research: Getting stakeholder buy-in for user experience research projects (2012). Previously, Tomer was a Sr. User Experience Researcher at Google, and he is a certified Google Design Sprint Master. Tomer has mentored organizations (large and small) on lean methodology, has given keynotes, and taught workshops all over the USA, Canada, Chile, UK, France, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Israel, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and Japan. He founded and led The Israeli Chapter of the User Experience Professionals’ Association and has been preaching and teaching UX at Google’s LaunchPad program, a bootcamp for early-stage startups around the world, in conferences, and at Treehouse and General Assembly. Tomer holds a master’s degree in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley University in Waltham, MA. He is @tsharon on Twitter and Instagram.

To bring the Polaris workshop to your organization or conference, contact Tomer directly at tsharon@gmail.com.