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Remote Design Sprint | From problems to solutions in 3 days

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Last Thursday on the 18th of June, we were invited from Silicon Luxembourg to present a webinar about the Design Sprints, a dedicated session to remote Design Sprint in Covid19 situation. Here is a recap of the fast, simple and motivating method that brings experience to reality.

About the Design Sprint

When we talk about the Design Sprint, three things come up directly to the table as benefits: time, budget and product creation.

Time, because within the period of a 3 days festival, important decisions can be made. Give a go or no-go to an idea after discuss it with the experts. On top of it, the process is 100% iterable: repeat, evolve and go further.

Budget, It is not necessary to spend large budgets in development to see if an idea can work. Ideas can be tested within a week. The prototypes can be used to create user stories and help developers to better understand.

Design Sprint allows to take the best of the sprint to the next phase. Save the best ideas for MVP, keep nice ideas in a backlog, discard hard-to-achieve features and rethink alternatives for your product creation.

If you are asking yourself when is a good moment to start a Design Sprint, the answer is when:

1. You start a project.

2. You are blocked or need to take a very important decision.

3. You have new customer insights or new market segment as prospect.

Design Sprint phases

The process of the Design Sprint goes through the phases of:

These phases are quite similar to the Design Thinking steps because Design Sprint is based on this methodology. There is an inversion between the Sketch and Decide phases.

Design Sprint workshops

Here listed all the workshops you can do for a standard Design Sprint of 3 days:

Map phase

Expert talks – Collective interview around the topic to set expectation and PoVs.

How might we? Convert challenges into opportunities. Strat shaping the problem and its limits.

Sprint goal – What do you want to solve if you were in an ideal world?

Sprint challenge – What is the worst scenario situation we can fall on?

Mapping – The idea is to define the guidelines and strategy for the rest of the sprint.

Sketch phase

Lightning Demos – Inspirational session to discover personal and professional solutions from each of the assistants’ universe. Find and show.

4 step Sketch – Quick exercise to take all the juice from the brains in the room, divided in 4 parts from general or abstract to a concrete 3 phases process.

Decide phase

Museum – Observe in silence and vote for the best ideas exposed in contemporary museum.

Speed critique – Explain in a nutshell what is going on in each of the artworks, then let the artist defend his/her work.

A sticky decision – Vote all at once for the best idea, let the decider to choose the best ideas in the wall.

Storyboard – Create a grid of maximum 15 tiles to cover one process from discovering ‘the thing’ until reaching the objective.

Prototype phase

Wireframe – Create a Low-Fi design based on the storyboard, concentrate in structure not in content.

Prepare Users tests – In parallel, create a test scenario, and finalize the recruitment of testers.

Interactive prototype – Create Hi-Fi clickable product covering the entire process, apply branding and words. Still not-a-real-product, do not go too far.

Test phase

User testing – Try out the prototypes with selected users, observe them and capture frustrations and other feelings.

A-B testing – Show different products reaching a common objective, make rational choices.

Expert advice – Challenge the prototypes with a field expert, let the pro illuminate the way.

Demo – Show the results to the initial group of experts. Gather direct feedback during the session.

Here you can find our team board with an example of a Design Sprint: Designing an experience to help an educator match faces to names. The goal is to shorten the time needed to reach a complete un-aided accuracy at the beginning of each new semester. Instructions are in slide/section 1.

Design Sprint Format

We use an extra day on our side to report all the workshops outcomes, including the clickable prototype and the results of testing. The team validates the outcomes and a next phase can start. It might happen that another iteration is needed to clarify or modify some parts of the product.

A Design Sprint is organized in a natural week of work (preferably) and brings results during and right after the Sprint. By results we understand, not only deliverables, but outcomes and new ideas as business solutions.

“We are potentially compressing months of work into 3 days”

It’s hard to imagine a scenario where a Design Sprint can’t help your company get the answers you need in a faster, easier and cheaper way. Done in the right way, with the right team, facilitator, approach, and resources, a Design Sprint takes you from a world of unknowns to a clear and proven answer.

Design Sprint Needs

Every methodology has a way to go and our version of the Google Ventures methodology uses only 2 technologies for the remote version:

Miro to organize the Sprint, keep track of the evolution and support the workshops

Adobe XD to create the interactive prototypes

All the content is provided by the team, with existing documentation or bringing input during the sprint in the team board. For the physical version of Design Sprints, we do not need too much more:

Two design experts

One heterogeneous team from different departments/units

One war-room with screen

Some office material, paper, Post-its, Sharpies, pens, sticky dots, clock, agenda day, adhesive tape, PC or phone (only for Lightening Demos)

On top of getting a report with the workshop’s outcomes helping you to take the next decision (interactive prototype and tests results), you get as well:

1 jam session

1 week of co-creation & innovation

In conclusion, the Design Sprint is a non-expensive process with a limited number of tools that can make a big impact on projects and organisations. Solving big problems in a short amount of time and removing the risk of building something that does not fit market or users expectations. Design Sprint can help in strategical, organizational, industrial & digital projects by thinking while designing future-proof solutions !

Do you want to know more about our user experience expertise? Click here.

Written by Eloi Palacios


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