Good morning! It is great to be here with you today! We are going to talk about Design Sprints. This topic is relevant for many companies seeking ways to increase innovation. This is also a challenge we have at Prudential.
I’ll start with giving you a Design Sprint 101 overview, diving into the Challenges for Corporations, how we over came some the challenges by Adapting to shorter sprints, Utilizing remote usability, and wrapping up with unintended outcomes of bringing design sprints to our organization
As you see we have a busy agenda, let’s get started!
First, my name is Caryn Gallis. I actually attended school here in Boston just down the street at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. I’m a senior UX designer at Prudential Work Place Solutions. I’m based out of New Jersey (not the building like right over there). You can Tweet me at caryngallis.
I have with me today two awesome people from User Testing Lija and Yuling, and they will be chiming in later in the presentation. You can reach them at their email up on the screen.
Design Sprints was developed by Google Ventures and taken over the design world like wildfire. It combines the best of business, design thinking and innovation. If you haven’t heard of it, here is your crash course. If you have heard of it or participated in one, I look forward to some insightful questions at the end.
We are all familiar with the ‘traditional’ approach to development. It’s really out of order for today’s world. In a company like Prudential, we are slowly trying to get away from this type of model where you don’t learn from your product until after launch which could be many months later. We are currently a mix of waterfall and Agile. Even with waterfall, Design Sprints save many change controls and time wasted.
You can fast-forward into the future to see your finished product and customer reactions, before making any expensive commitments. You can shortcut the endless-debate cycle and compress months of time into a single week. You will get clear data from a realistic prototype, Instead of waiting to launch a MVP to understand if an idea is any good,
Essentially, YOU become a super hero with super powers: you can make a solution for a big problem in just five days.
No more than 7-8 people. You must have a A decider or proxy who can speak for the decider. Also the decider could come in a critical points in the Sprint but if you can get this person for the whole week, it would be better! You need: a Dev / Tech person, a Designer and then the other roles depend on the project. Maybe you need a marketing expert or a financial expert.
Nothing fancy, although if you have it that’s awesome. Not much is needed. Just white boards, walls, stickies, markers and copious amounts of coffee.
Each activity of the Design Sprint is carefully thought out and everyday of the Design Sprint sets you up for the next day. The day is typically 10am to 4pm with two breaks and a lunch. The idea is not to let anyone burn out. Also NO devices in the room until prototyping on the 4th day.
Now lets dive into each day.
This is where the magic starts. As the facilitator, we start the conversation with Long Term Goal and creating Sprint questions. Starting with a goal keeps everyone focused for the whole week. Anytime there is a disagreement, refer to the long term goal to get the team back on track.
This Sprint that the pictures are from was redesigning a life insurance needs calculator.
Now that the goal is written on the board, its time to create a map of the experience with actors on the left and end goal on the right. This map might look messy but it’s a work in progress and is used to create a cohesive picture of the process for everyone. The map and goals stay up on the white board for the whole week, again, as a guide to all the decision made in the Sprint.
Next comes the expert interviews. The team knows a lot about the challenge but not everything. By having the experts share their knowledge about the challenge as well as the map, the team gains a whole new understanding to the challenge. In just 30 minutes, the team can have deeper understanding into specific areas of the business that affect the challenge. Also, the map can be altered based on their insights. As the experts are interviewed, each person takes notes. The notes the team is taking while the experts talk are called “How might we” or HMW notes. For example, I observed an expert say “our users don’t understand how to make insurance choices.” I could write How Might We Educate better? Each sticky has one short thought. At the end of the day the notes are organized and the team chooses a handful of the most interesting ones which will help make the decision about which part of the map to focus on and also help give ideas in the sketching process. At the end of the day, the How Might We notes are voted on, and placed on the map. The target area for the prototype is selected. As intense as this first day is, many sprint participants have related to me just how many endless meetings the process saves.
I’m sure you are thinking “Thought this was a collaborative process?” Yes, it is. By working alone in drawing phase, we avoid group think. We allow space for truly unique and innovative ideas. And yes, everyone draws.
Drawing time! We aren’t aiming for da vinci level. Here we emphasis thinking over artistry. Ugly is fine and words matter.
First, gather key notes. Everyone can get up and walk around to read the map, HMW stickiest, questions and goal. Write down points that matter to you Then, Doodle rough ideas. As many ideas as you can in 20 mins Then, we do an activity called crazy 8’s. Take a piece of paper folded into 8 squares. With one minute per square, explore new options for your top idea. Its harder than it might seem. The idea is to make sure you have explored all angled of the solution. Last, take 30 minutes or more to create a final sketch with explanations. This should be able to stand alone with limited explanation from you. Once done, leave face down and go home. Get a good nights sleep as tomorrow is a big day.
The sprint has a very specific way of making decisions. This is to avoid those meetings that go into tangents, derail or fall apart. These are frustrating because humans have limited short-term memory as well as decision fatigue. This process might seam awkward but it works. Also, the right people to make the right decision are all in one room together saving many more meetings and emails .
We evaluate all the solutions all at once, critique all at one and then make a decision all at once. Each part of the process is time boxed. Each member of the team has an opportunity to express their ideas. Everyone feels valued and integral to the process.
When everyone comes in for the day, all the drawings are up like an art gallery. Everyone has time to review and place unlimited small dot stickers next to ideas they value thus creating a heat map. This really shows where the ‘hot’ ideas are and also allows everyone to have a voice- not matter what role or level making the process very democratic. Next is the speed critique. This exercise turns critiques upside down and its wildly efficient. The team will gather around one sketch. For three minutes, the Facilitator will narrate the sketch. Then they calls out good ideas. Then the team shouts out any good ideas missed. One member of the team acts as a scribe and takes notes on stickiest of the main ideas, like “natural language form” or “sliders.” Now, the creator of the sketch is asked to explain any missing details. By having the person speak last, the process is streamlined and allows for the most honest discussion.
Move on to the next sketch and repeat.
After the team votes, its either a clear winner or a rumble (A/B testing). However, there are no forgotten sketches- just winners and maybe laters. Winning sketches will go on to drive the prototype and all sketches will help in creating a storyboard just like what is done at Pixar before any animator goes digital. The storyboard will answer all the questions needed to create a robust prototype. By making a detailed story board, prototyping is pretty straightforward.
Prototyping depends a lot on what type of product: If it’s a physically product, you make a foam model or 3d print a prototype. If its digital, then wireframes work. Either way, its important to simulate real world. What does that mean?
By putting a convincing prototype (“Goldilocks quality”) in front of real users to gain their insight for future changes, the project saves incredible amounts of time, money and resources in developing then testing. Making the prototype real as possible helps users suspend reality and give feed back on the experience.
Design Sprint book recommends doing these in person.
While each session was taking place, the team and other observers could watch from the design room and take notes on – you guessed it – sticky notes! Even with a small sample of five, many themes quickly emerged. We knew right away areas that worked and areas that did’t. Our biggest finding is that user would use a tool like this and would like to spend a little bit of time on it. From here we were able to make changes to the prototype and use remote testing to see if the improvements helped usability of the tool.
I hope you can see just how awesome Design Sprints are but you might be thinking “How on earth can I bring that to my company?” We had challenges too bringing Design Sprints to our organization and also ways to over come those challenges. Here’s how we pull it off.
(This is the interesting section!)
No Time comes in a two-fold problem: First you need the team. It’s hard to separate people from long waterfall projects and even harder from intense Agile projects to dedicate a full week. It was important to show how many hours of meetings this could save us by having those people together in a room for a week. Second, in an organization like Prudential it’s often about the timing. How do we fit Design Sprints in to the Agile workflow? Or will doing this Design Sprint result in needing a change control in this waterfall project? People had many concerns.
Leadership might call a Design Sprint a ”challenge” when their commitment is really the challenge. I know I am fortunate to have a boss and leadership who were willing to take an educated risk and try design sprints. As a side note, I would suggest to find a small low risk project to start. STL needed us to PROVE the value.
Just right size sprints. How to do that? We started looking at our work flow and some project seemed overwhelming for design sprint while others didn’t have enough substance for a team to take on for a whole week.
Our solution for our top three challenges has been alleviated by adapting to shorter sprints and using remote usability testing.
The success of the Design Sprints started to spread within our organization.
To solve many of the challenges, we needed to adopt a quicker methodology. I believe each organization that takes on Design Sprints will start to adapt and customize the process to suit their individual needs. After you have a few design sprints down, start to experiment with different ways to get the work done.
ADD IN CONSIDERATIONS WHAT WE NEEDED
This is the way Jake Knapp, the author of Design Sprints, laid the week out.
Ok, technically this is three days as a Sprint Team. It requires longer days. Day one is focused on understanding Day two is sketching in the morning and deciding in the afternoon. Day three is storyboarding half the morning session and prototyping rest of the day. More hands might be required for prototyping. Then remote usability comes to save the day. The testing can happen over night and the team and watch the tests at another time. Or a researcher can put together a findings report. After that, the team can decide if there needs to be updates to the prototype and to test again.
We added Design Sprints to our an online Pru Playbbook and started training people to be facilitators. This started as a grassroots project within the organization. Leadership has started to recognize the value and support our efforts.
Remote testing has also been a critical tool for our organization. We are striving for customer facing design to be put in front of user across the board. This is huge for our area (Group Insurance) at Prudential as before three years ago, UX had never had a seat at the table.
That was time consuming, costly, and inefficient. And scared the daylights out of my boss’s boss. Security at our building didn’t know this was happening. I’m sure they would have stopped it. Anyways, We knew there had to be a better way.
No more CL Moderated Unmoderated Wide range of people and focus on the people we want to talk to talk- like people who have had a disability claim in the last year. Reuse screener questions Favorite testers Video and new ways of taking notes.
before day 1 of your design sprint even comes, make sure the customer is at the table of these discussions; these sprints are CX focused.
I”m going to hand it over to Lija and Yuling to dive into Best Practices.
As Caryn had highlighted, remote testing allows for faster collection of human insights. As a result, it’s a valuable tool during design sprints, when you have many tasks to accomplish in a limited amount of time and resources.
you want to make sure you have a targeted plan for your design sprint. Do DISCOVERY research with users—ask them! You’ll want to define the challenge you want to address in the sprint So, it also means you want to Identify how your product will fit in to the current environment by ensuring you have a comprehensive understanding of your customers, what they are doing, their goals, etc. Use methods like diary studies to understand how people are currently living, motivations behind choices, perceptions and needs Or remote, moderated sessions to connect with customers to understand expectations, preferences, attitudes
Whether it is during day 5 of a traditional 5-day sprint, or post-sprint in Prudential’s model, make sure you conduct research to validate your concepts Your design does not need to be perfect before you start receiving feedback. Have the “just right” fidelity to get the point across. Get feedback, and iterate on your design to help you avoid failure in the final product. Moderated tests are also appropriate if the prototype requires some additional explanation by a moderator. Remember to keep lead time in mind—schedule your sessions and participants ahead of time so they are ready to go on day 5. You will also want at least a rough draft of the script before the day of the study You can watch the sessions together with the team, and understand where the product stands. (tell a story about our design sprint and how we watched and took notes together). ***Remote research allows you to minimize the time needed to facilitate things like payments, scheduling, and recruitment, leaving you more time to focus on other critical logistics in the run up to the test***
You’ve validated the concept, and then you can take it into the Design phase After the sprint, you will probably have questions that surfaced during the week that you will need to answer You might also be fleshing out requirements and design approaches getting more feedback from users in concept and usability tests Remote research allows you to gather feedback, iterate, and test quickly
We had many unintended outcomes of the Design Sprint. Really only intended outcome was to try something new and see what happens. Here are a few top observations:
We have all been in an endless meeting or worst when that endless meeting ends with “lets follow this up offl line” The beauty of the Design Sprint is making good work happen quickly. I did have a time where this backfired and the decider didn’t decide. It was awful. That wasn’t how the process was suppose to work. Time boxing helps focus people and the team produces good work as a result.
Prior to Prudential, I worked a consultant in many different companies. Some companies brought consultants in to get a specific job done with a side benefit of a breath of fresh air: new life and innovation into their environment. In house teams can do that as well through new types of methodologies such as Design Sprints. This process is something you can take on and be successful at.
Not every Sprint will be 100% ideal but it is almost more important for it to become part of the process and the cadence of YOUR type of Sprint will then have a chance to emerge.
Through this process we are brining Design Thinking to all levels of the organization, eroding functional and traditional hierarchy silos, bringing UX to the masses! Yes, I am idealistic but I know that a highly collaborative process like Design Sprints can really do this. People still start about our first sprint in July of 2016.
Within each Design Sprint, there might be challenges. But overcoming those is part of the process: We had a few Sprints that co-location or being double booked were issues. We used FaceTime to interview experts and in another sprint, we had a participant explain their design in a pre-recorded video so not to miss the opportunity.
Perhaps this is the biggest benefit to Design Thinking methods and a technique like Design Sprints. It empowers teams to think differently and overcome challenges. We can bring new ideas to an organization that’s been around for over 100 years.
Thank you so much for letting us share with you. Now we have a few minutes for questions.
I hope you have learnt a lot. Looks like we have a few minutes for questions.
Design Sprints. In the Corporate World.
In the Corporate World.
Prudential Customer Experience
May 10, 2018
Shorter sprints, remote testing,
and other real-world adaptations.
Design Sprints. In the Corporate World. 2
2. Design Sprint 101
3. Challenges for a Corporation
4. Adaptation Shorter Sprints
5. Powering Sprints with Continuous Human Insights
6. Unintended Positive Outcomes
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Design Sprints. In the Corporate World. 5
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Design Sprints 101
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What is a
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Where should a
Sprint be held?
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How to run a
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START AT THE END
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Day 1: Long term goal and mapping the experience
Day 1: Expert interviews, How Might We (HMW) and target area
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WORK ALONE TOGETHER
2. QUICK IDEAS
3. CRAZY 8’S
Day 2: Four step sketch process (yes, even you can draw too!)
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Day 3: Art Gallery, Heat map, Speed Critique and Voting
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Day 3: Storyboard
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Day 5: Usability testing
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Challenges for a
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No. 1 No Time
Yet innovation takes time…
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No. 2 Senior
“Seems like a lot of people for a lot of
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No. 3 To Sprint
or not to Sprint?
Boil the ocean or design a button?
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Adapting to Shorter Sprints
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We felt the
Everyone wanted a Design Sprint but how
will we always have results?
Traditional-by-the-book Design Sprint
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Jake Knapp would be proud
DAY ONE DAY TWO DAY THREE
• How Might
• Quick ideas
• Crazy 8’s
• Art gallery and
• Speed critique
Update prototype and test again (optional)
Three-day* Design Sprint
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Longer days but same amount of innovation
DAY ONE DAY TWO DAY THREE
• How Might We (HMW)
• Draft usability questions
• Remote usability testing
• Review results
• Update prototype and test again (optional)
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Another tool in
Bringing Design Sprints to the whole
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Powering Sprints with
Continuous Human Insights
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In our first
off Craig’s List
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Best Practices to Capture
What you should do before, during, and after your
Remote Testing Enables Faster Human Insights
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2 to 3 Weeks 1 Week 2 to 3 Weeks
Plan & recruit Run study
Analyze data &
Plan, recruit & run
Analyze data &
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Set the stage
Run remote studies like
• Diary Studies
• Light ethnography
with target users to uncover
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Validate the prototype or
concepts with target users
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Take the idea from prototype
to working code by gathering
insights from users as you
iterate and build
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of Design Sprints
Having a time box
creates good work.
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This WILL work in
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Silos can be broken.
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We can overcome
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Time for questions.
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