Design Sprint – A Quick Way to Prototype, Test & Design User Experiences

07 Oct 2019
Design Sprint 47Billion

You all are aware of the fact that when multiple brains discuss a challenge they are facing, several outstanding solutions are on the table for the problem being discussed.

This is the core concept of the ultimate five days process called Design Sprint. It is a process utilized for validating ideas and solving big challenges through prototyping and testing ideas with customers.  

Design Sprint is an alternative to learn without building and launching.

As said the process requires a bunch of people for a design sprint. The team will be mainly consisting of –

Decider

The stakeholders should be involved in the discussions since their decision will influence the long term goal and the final product.

Facilitator

The one who tracks the progress of the team during the process of design sprints and ensures that all are working on their part. They remain unbiased at the time of decision making.

Marketing Expert

The person who is the face of the company.

Customer Service

They interact with the customers and understand the complete user base of the company.

Design Expert

They visualize the product.

Tech Expert

The one who is responsible for the technical development of the product.

Financial Expert

They can explain the cost and return for the project.

The day-wise targets

Day 1 

Understanding the Problem

At the start of the sprint, the team should be acquainted with the reason for conducting the sprint. In the very first phase team is required to set a long term goal that plays the role of GPS for the whole team so that the team members move in the correct direction. This goal is now converted into actionable items. Questions are framed on the basis of assumptions and challenges. They are the sprint questions. The user needs and problems are taken into consideration. Then the team has a voting session for all the problems. 

Understanding the pain points of customers

After defining the aim of the process, it is important to understand the customers. So conducting user research is vital.

Know your Customers

Create an empathy map. The map represents the needs and priorities of the customers. The map helps in identifying any key themes and problems affecting your users based on their behavior, captured during the user research and expert interviews.

Customer Journey Map

It is the visual representation of the customer’s end to end experience with your product or service. This helps the team to breakdown a big challenge to a specific target for the sprint. 

Swim Lane Diagram

Combining the empathy map with the customer journey map will create a swim lane diagram. This diagram serves to create a heat map of challenges that exist within each step of the customer journey.

Creating an opportunity from the challenge

The “How Might We” is a method used to turn the existing challenges into opportunities. Here the team proposes solutions for the challenges being discussed and prioritized. This process includes the dot voting system to prioritize the How Might We notes and decide on which focus area to target for the sprint.

Now decide the Actual Long term Goal

At the end of the day, the deciders need to select one target event to focus on. This will act as the long term goal which will be focused upon in the rest of the sprint.

Day 2

Ideate the Solutions

Since voting is being done, every person should have a reason for their vote. A sketch is now prepared with the help of a four-step sketch Method: It is an efficient method for getting the approach for the solution.

Notes

Take notes of the goals, opportunities, and inspirations for the first twenty minutes.

Ideas

Formulating thoughts through a sketch.

Crazy 8s

Find a solution with the maximum probability of successful execution and find its 8 different approaches.

Solution Sketch

Make a detailed end to end solution in the next half an hour.

How Might We

This HMW method turns the existing problems into opportunities. Using the dot voting system for making how might we note and focus on the major area for the sprint.

After this activity, the decider has to finalize the problems for the rest of the sprint.

Day 3

Day for the Final Decision

Reaching  a point for the best solution can be carried out in five steps:

Art Museum

Create an art gallery. Put all the sketched on a wall. 

Heat Map

Each team member will be given three dot stickers and they will be asked to stick them to the points or sketches which they find interesting.

Speed Critique

All the members will go through the sketches and select a drawing that is not their own and seeks the solution.

Dot Voting

Each member is given a voting sticker, they need to choose a solution and justify their decision.

Supervote

The decider makes the final decision with three votes.

Draw a Story Board

Start with five to seven frames to start a storyboard. The first frame should contain the opening scene so that the users get familiar with the product.

Day 4

Prototype in Process

As the storyboard is ready, we focus on building the prototype. Functionality should reflect from the prototype. The quality should be a priority while developing the prototype so that it seems real to users. Such as creating mockups using sketch or keynote and importing that into a prototyping tool. 

While developing the prototype following people will be required in the team –

Makers

Designers or engineers who are responsible for creating the individual components of the prototype.

Stitcher

Collecting the components from makers and combine them.

Writer

The product manager, who is responsible for writing realistic text to ensure that the users understand the language.

Asset Collector

Provide relevant images, icons, and content to assist the makers.

Interviewer

They write the interview scripts for customer interviews.

Day 5

Testing the Prototype

The prototype testing can be done by taking a maximum of five users that fit into the target customer profile. The questions and tasks that are assigned to the users should reflect a real environment.

Finding Insights from Feedbacks and Patterns

Identify themes and patterns in feedback after completing the prototype testing and work by prioritizing these into the backlog as features to address in the next iteration of the product.

Conclusion

The design sprint is a user-centred process. It builds products and services based on a solid understanding of the user’s wants and needs. The prototype testing is done with the real users who give accurate feedback. 

Design Sprint is a democratic process in my point of view as the perspective of each and every person from all the levels is taken into consideration.

It removes all the inefficiencies and ineffective discussions as well as helps to obtain a clear vision of the goals upfront.

This process utilizes the design thinking process which in turn reduces the product development cost. It forces you to make critical decisions and solve complex problems fast. 


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