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Five parallel design sprints. What possibly can go wrong?

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Slides from my UXcamp Berlin presentation.
We, at StudyPortals, experiment a LOT with different design methods.
This time I talked about design sprints, a methodology introduced by Google. As a quick process to define the future of your product.
This year we challenged ourselves to run 5 design sprints at the same time, virtually occupying half of the company for a week of UX activities. How did we do it? What went wrong?

Slides from my UXcamp Berlin presentation.
We, at StudyPortals, experiment a LOT with different design methods.
This time I talked about design sprints, a methodology introduced by Google. As a quick process to define the future of your product.
This year we challenged ourselves to run 5 design sprints at the same time, virtually occupying half of the company for a week of UX activities. How did we do it? What went wrong?

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Five parallel design sprints. What possibly can go wrong?

  1. 1. Five parallel design sprints What possibly can go wrong? Den Tserkovnyi @dtserkovnyi
  2. 2. 24 million users per year 2 000+ universities 140 000+ programmes
  3. 3. Mindset
  4. 4. How we work 5 days of Design Sprints
  5. 5. March 2014
  6. 6. Now
  7. 7. me
  8. 8. + More creative solutions + Easier cooperation + Speed of development - Long term planning - Style consistency
  9. 9. Sprint planning Standup Testing on devices Testing on devices Backlog refinement Showcase Stakeholder feedback
  10. 10. Sprint planning Standup Testing on devices Testing on devices Backlog refinement Showcase Stakeholder feedback Sprint alignment UX Standup UX Day or Usability testing (once a month)
  11. 11. Removed picture of the designer, developer and researcher observing the users On the other end, people are observing. Anyone can drop by to see user tests.
  12. 12. It is also how you get there
  13. 13. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  14. 14. You’re gonna build & test a realistic prototype in 5 days. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  15. 15. Get the team From the notes: Before we could start our first ever sprint, we created the team and picked the date. This step was not easy as it demanded 35 hours of time in one week. With a little bit of magic and meeting rescheduling we managed to clean up agenda of the future team. Which finally consisted of 8 members of 6 nationalities from 5 different departments. On the other 7 sprints every team facilitator contacted main stakeholders outside of Engineering department to get them on board.
  16. 16. Presentation and check list PDF thesprintbook.com/tools
  17. 17. Now, some quick ground rules Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  18. 18. 1. The Facilitator is in charge of the schedule.
  19. 19. 2. The Decider makes all tough decisions.
  20. 20. 3. No devices in the room. (You can use them at breaks. Or step out of the room any time.)Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  21. 21. 4. Timebox everything.
  22. 22. Schedule
  23. 23. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  24. 24. Explain the sprint
  25. 25. Set the long-term goal
  26. 26. Enable easy selection of study programmes based on the most relevant information
  27. 27. Too vague Well defined makes it less creative Not an actual graph
  28. 28. Make a map This will be a simple diagram with around 5-15 steps. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  29. 29. Time to call the experts
  30. 30. Prepare expert questions to avoid stress
  31. 31. Pick a target Choose a customer type and a focus on the map. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  32. 32. Recruit Users
  33. 33. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  34. 34. Group brainstorms don’t work, so you’ll sketch alone. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  35. 35. Sketch Notes 20 minutes Ideas 20 minutes Crazy 8s 8 minutes Solution sketch 30–90 minutes Slide (partially) from thesprintbook.com/tools
  36. 36. Divide or swarm Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  37. 37. Shorter day?
  38. 38. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  39. 39. You’ll make fast decisions without groupthink or sales pitches Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  40. 40. Sticky decision Choose the best sketches with silent review and structured critique. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  41. 41. Art museum Heat map Speed critique
  42. 42. Straw poll Supervote
  43. 43. Turn the winning sketches into a storyboard Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  44. 44. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  45. 45. A realistic façade is all you need to learn from users. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  46. 46. If your product is on a screen, try tools like Keynote or PowerPoint and InVision or Marvel. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  47. 47. If it’s on paper, design it with Keynote, PowerPoint, or Word. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  48. 48. If it’s a service, use your sprint team as actors. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  49. 49. Maker, Stitcher, Soldier, Spy
  50. 50. Maker, Stitcher, Soldier, Spy Writer, Asset collector, Interviewer
  51. 51. Longest day? • Storyboard refinement • Pending decisions
  52. 52. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  53. 53. 5 interviews are enough to reveal big patterns.
  54. 54. Decide on the note taking format
  55. 55. Prepare for “no-shows”
  56. 56. At the end of the sprint, you’ll know what to do next.
  57. 57. We added retrospective
  58. 58. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  59. 59. Often, it’s helpful to fix the prototype and test it again. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  60. 60. FM T W T If you do 3 sprints in a row… FTWT FT …they won’t all take 5 days. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  61. 61. Conclusions
  62. 62. Cross-department alignment
  63. 63. Championing UX
  64. 64. Robust framework
  65. 65. Enough time to think things through, but not enough to procrastinate
  66. 66. Regular work during the sprint
  67. 67. Deciders alignment
  68. 68. Follow up can be difficult
  69. 69. Design methods toolboxhttps://designsprintkit.withgoogle.com
  70. 70. Next steps
  71. 71. Follow-up
  72. 72. Timeline on how to pick things In the future (blurred)
  73. 73. Hack day/UXD day
  74. 74. Combining designers from different teams in less sprints
  75. 75. Living style guide
  76. 76. Hybrid design team
  77. 77. Slide from thesprintbook.com/tools
  78. 78. Ask me anything @dtserkovnyi or LinkedIn or visit us in Eindhoven

Editor's Notes

  • My name is Den, and barely anyone can pronounce my surname. Born in Ukraine, moved to the Netherlands 5 years ago.
    I had a pleasure to work in a dynamic environments with a great teams as UX researcher, UX designer, Scrum Master, Product Owner.

    The most exciting challenge I’m working on right now is building the best UX team in the Netherlands. It’s impossible to build best team without the great processes.
    Therefore we are always experiment with the new approaches.
  • First a bit about the company I work for. It’s called StudyPortals and it’s aiming to make higher education transparent worldwide.
    As you may noticed from your past, the process of the selection of the higher education is one of the hard ones.
    That’s where we come in and help students to find their dream education.
  • For all the vacancies that we have an experience of getting education abroad is very valuable.
    That brings a certain mindset that makes it easier to promote user needs
  • We are having 35 nationalities out of 150 employees.
  • 3+ years ago: 4 full time developers.
    Gantt chart planning
  • Scrum?
    No one knows the future
  • Spotify model

  • Pros/Cons of agile development for UX. Separate design team VS designers in dev teams

    No multidisciplinary teams. Less creative solutions
    Less UX promo in Dev. Harder to pull things through
    Better long term and consistency

    Scaling up challenges
  • Sprint planning
    Daily standup
    Scrum of Scrums
    Testing
    Backlog refinement
    Showcase
    Retro
  • Backlog refinement
  • Company showcases add development transparency
    + video for all who work in the other offices

    Scrum in the sales and client success departments.
  • UX sprint update
    Open meeting for coop: critique, heuristic evaluation, sketch session.
    Usability testing of what was developed and presentation
    UX Day once in a sprint (not mandatory to join, schedule is flexible)
  • Prototyping and checking the vision before development + Usability test every month (5–6 users)
  • Intro design sprint every Q for setting the strategy
  • I was talking to my friend from Google Poland and he suggested
    Collection of design methods
    Agile Scrum is great and makes things move fast. But we looked for a good approach to formulate the longer term vision

    GV + Google designers
    Search, Chrome and Gmail
    Ads, Slack
  • Get the materials
  • Snacks are good, so the people don’t have to go around looking for them
  • Thick markers are important to be concise
  • Almost all people on this picture were facilitators.
    UXD team
  • Talk to one person at a time and take notes.
  • It’s hard to have experts over Skype
    Not all experts were prepared to keep input within the topic boundaries
  • Recruitment was the biggest concern
    Screening of the users
  • ! User recruitment was done in advance
    FB post, two on university campus recruitment, colleague’s student friends
  • Gifts for recruitment help from colleagues
  • Benchmark of non-direct competitors
  • Comments during lightening demos may have biased team members before sketching
  • Text matters
  • Should have split sketching tasks (in case of the vague topic)
  • Give sketch a catchy name
  • Positive feedback on the exercise
  • + Some time was left, so squeezed in the brainstorm for the future
  • All sketches are anonymous
  • Art museum makes sense without creating heatmaps in the same time, because you are influencing each other too much and it’s easy not to pay attention to the details.


    Art museum. Tape the solution sketches to the wall in one long row
    Heat map. Have each person review the sketches silently and put one to three small dot stickers beside every part he or she likes.
    Speed critique. Three minutes per sketch. As a group, discuss the highlights of each solution. Capture standout ideas and important objections. At the end, ask the sketcher if the group missed anything.
    Straw poll. Each person silently chooses a favorite idea. All at once, each person places one large dot sticker to register his or her (nonbinding) vote.
    Supervote.
  • We started with the email
    Covered all the holes in scenario
  • + Three teams were running ahead of schedule
    + Clarity on what’s next
  • A lot of decisions before the lunch
  • Few developers trying to push for HTML
    Ain't Nobody Got Time for That
  • Prototyping roles distribution
    Software to design on the laptops. Admin access… possible issues.
  • Simple to use software
  • Edit the prototype and interview
  • Check the setup before Friday
  • Semi-structured interview
  • Our real clients. 3 online, 2 in the office.
    Team watched in the separate room
  • + Non-designers doing interviews and enjoying it (Sales, Front end, Project manager, PO)
  • Team watched in the separate space.
    Too noisy to listen to user feedback in the open office.
  • Grid:
    Too many duplicated observation notes
    Hard to go through all the notes
  • Grid + colour coding
  • Two no shows (but we had it covered with student-interns)
  • It was a great and a busy week running our first design sprint! In just five days we decided on the direction, sketched, prototyped and tested a new product vision with five users.
  • Retro
  • No device + timeboxing + schedule
  • Happy DevOps sprint
    + Different from the normal work. Change of pace and perspective
  • Tried the new process
    Next sprint was in one week and the next one is starts in a few days.

    Branding sprint… etc.
    Intro it every Q for setting the strategy
  • to support us in consistency
  • Design priniciples
  • That’s enough to start, but you would like to read the book and checklists as well.
  • ×