↓ Abridged Design Sprint
Guidelines & Documentation
We use design sprints as a tool to align everyone around clearly defined goals in order to develop as many ideas as possible. In order to get to value faster we have to develop experiments that will help us learn and understand the best solution for the customer.
In 2017 the UX team at Unbounce was at a crossroads. The advent of machine learning was forcing us to change our process and approach to design as a craft. We quickly embraced our mission of exploring the future potential of our product, while uncovering untapped opportunities that did not exist before.
At the same time Google Design Sprints became a popular design process method. It was a time-constrained, five-phase process that uses design thinking with the aim of reducing the risk when bringing a new product, service or a feature to the market.
The process aims to help design teams to clearly define goals, validate assumptions and decide on a product roadmap before starting development. It seeks to address strategic issues using interdisciplinary, rapid prototyping, and usability testing.
For us however getting five days of everybody's time was next to near impossible. If we wanted to explore untapped opportunities we need to move swiftly and decisively. Instead we developed the Unbounce Design Sprint (1-2 days), an abridged version of the original Google Design Sprint.
We were able to focus and shorten the design sprint by focusing on idea generation and conceptual development. We were going for volume instead for a fully flushed out solution at the end of our design sprint.
Once the design sprint was complete, the facilitators would narrow down the ideas based on scope, feasibility, resources and define how to move forward. The top voted ideas would be then concept tested to get the UX team initial signals of value. The results of the concept tests and insights from the findings summary would inform a final prototype.
The design sprint however does not absolve your design leadership from the lack of vision or direction. As leaders it is our job to show everyone the strategic direction and a future UX vision for a product or company.
Pictured left to right: Denise Villanueva, Sarah Gillis
Before you start any design sprint you should ensure that you are using the right tool for the job. Is this a large problem that needs to be solved? As each product team maintains and grooms their own roadmaps, not all highly ranked initiatives may have clear cut solutions.
We would not use design sprints to solve a particular feature design. Let's say an image integration with Unsplash, but we would use it to solve higher level problems. For example: “How might we define a better on-boarding experience?”.
1. Who should you invite?
2. Assign Roles
3. Clearly define your problem statement.
4. Do your research
5. Prepare your slide deck.
6. Prepare the MIRO board.
7. Print out the IDEO Brainstorming rules
Print all 7 rules on sheets of 8.5X11 and put them up on the wall so they are visible to all participants at all times.
8. Ensure you have all the supplies for a brainstorm.
Sticky notes, pens, paper. It always helps if you bring snacks and coffee especially for morning sessions.
Presenting on right: Luis Francisco Baroni Coutinho
The following structure and agenda should enable you to run a well prepared and organized design sprint. The design sprint template we have provided follows the same structure.
A 15min break gives people a chance to take a mental break, get a coffee etc...
Pictured left to right: Yosem Sweet, Paul Doerfling, Paul Kalupnieks, Ricky Knight, Johnny Opao, Bryan Holt, Alecia Morris, Sarah Gillis.