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FACILITATING
DESIGN
SPRINTSBy Ezekiel “Zeke” Binion
@ebinion
UX Camp 2017
What are Design Sprints?
A highly collaborative process from
Google to prototype your ideas and test
them on real users in just five days.
Google’s Sprint
How does it work?
Understand
Define the
opportunity and
map the ideal
experience
Diverge
Sketch creative
solutions for the
problem
Decide
Review the
solutions and
decide what we’ll
pursue
Prototype
Make the
prototype and
interview guide
Test & Learn
Test our ideas with
5 real people
day
1
day
5
We implemented Design Sprints at
Table XI last year
It took some hard work but we did it.
We ran a Design Sprint one of the
nation’s largest Ideas Festivals
In our client’s 

own words…
2 big lessons to share
How to sell Design Sprints in your organization
How to facilitate them when you do
Selling Design Sprints
Part 1
Selling to the suits
Conveying the costs, risks, and
opportunities to your organization’s
leaders is critical
Selling points
• We have an opportunity to find an idea that our customers love
and reshape how we approach product design
• By only investing 1 week into the idea, instead of months, it’s
easy to purse another idea if it failed
• Sprint requires a time investment from a leader to play the role
of decider, but we only require their presence for days 1 and 3
Selling Design Sprints
Selling to developers
Developers are craftsman too. However
getting their time can be difficult.
Selling points
• We have an opportunity to find out if we’re building the right
thing before we make it
• On Wednesday we need your help understand the technical
concerns of our idea
• If the developer is unable to attend the entire Sprint, you could
ask them to only attend day 3 and observe 1 or 2 tests on day 5
Selling Design Sprints
Answering the “research question”
Are 5 users enough to get statistically significant results?
Selling Design Sprints
No but…
5 users is not statistically significant but that’s not the goal.
We’re looking for directional accuracy.
Selling Design Sprints
Selling to researchers
Researchers and data-orientated
stakeholders need more context
Selling points
• According to a study performed by the Nelson Norman Group,
beyond 5 users of a single group we tend to find the same problems
(http://bit.ly/2kDgfVc)
• After the Sprint is over, we’ll want to spend time revising the design
based on what we’ve learned. We’ll test with users again and learn
even more
• Don Norman reminds us, “designers don’t start from zero.” Hopefully,
the team has been doing research outside of the context of project
we’ll be relying on that research as well. (http://bit.ly/2kgsx2n)
Selling Design Sprints
Questions about selling Sprints?
Facilitating Design Sprints
Part 2
Activities follow similar structures
Anatomy of an activity Modeled from Gamestorming
Opening
(Divergent)
Closing
(Convergent)
Exploration
Make everyone feel
welcome. Establish what
we’re doing and why.
Bring things to a conclusion.
Establish what we agreed to
and ensure everyone 

is aligned.
Keep everyone on task.
Facilitating Design Sprints
Always be prepared
Preparation is the best way to reduce
anxiety/fear associated with leading 

a group
• Practice activity openings
• Create a checklist
• Give the participants homework
• Have backup exercises
Facilitating Design Sprints
Here’s a few great books on facilitation (links are on the resources slide)
Good sources for backup exercises
Facilitating Design Sprints
“Be yourself; everyone else is
already taken.”
- Oscar Wilde
Facilitating Design Sprints
Be yourself; only better
Facilitating conversations is a lot like user research
• Be neutral, when you can be
• Use open questions to explore topics
• Restate answers in your own words to confirm understanding
and expose gaps
• Practice 5 whys
Facilitating Design Sprints
Be a great host
Make everyone feel comfortable
• Feed people (if you're having a long meeting)
• Take breaks every 1.5 - 2 hours
• Encourage quiet people to participate
• Check the room temperature
• Be considerate of health issues and disabilities
Facilitating Design Sprints
Facilitation Resources
• Sprint (Book) http://amzn.to/2kec1oy
• Gamestorming (Book) http://amzn.to/2lByUiU
• CTRL SHIFT (Book) http://amzn.to/2luKTBO
• Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making (Book) http://amzn.to/2kT1uMD
• Designing the Conversation (Book) http://amzn.to/2l4hM7y
• Good Kickoff Meetings (website) GoodKickoffMeetings.com
• Sprint Stories (Medium) SprintStories.com
• “How we’re adapting Google’s Design Sprint to get testable prototypes in a week” 

(Table XI Blog) http://bit.ly/2ke97A8
Questions about facilitating Sprints?
Next Steps (not goodbye)
• Visit this link: http://bit.ly/2l0b8PS for a copy of this presentation
• Speak to me if you want to know more about Table XI hiring (note we have a chef…)
• Connect with me at @ebinion and continue the conversation

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Facilitating Google Design Sprints

  • 2. What are Design Sprints?
  • 3. A highly collaborative process from Google to prototype your ideas and test them on real users in just five days. Google’s Sprint
  • 4. How does it work? Understand Define the opportunity and map the ideal experience Diverge Sketch creative solutions for the problem Decide Review the solutions and decide what we’ll pursue Prototype Make the prototype and interview guide Test & Learn Test our ideas with 5 real people day 1 day 5
  • 5. We implemented Design Sprints at Table XI last year It took some hard work but we did it.
  • 6. We ran a Design Sprint one of the nation’s largest Ideas Festivals
  • 7. In our client’s 
 own words…
  • 8. 2 big lessons to share How to sell Design Sprints in your organization How to facilitate them when you do
  • 10. Selling to the suits Conveying the costs, risks, and opportunities to your organization’s leaders is critical Selling points • We have an opportunity to find an idea that our customers love and reshape how we approach product design • By only investing 1 week into the idea, instead of months, it’s easy to purse another idea if it failed • Sprint requires a time investment from a leader to play the role of decider, but we only require their presence for days 1 and 3 Selling Design Sprints
  • 11. Selling to developers Developers are craftsman too. However getting their time can be difficult. Selling points • We have an opportunity to find out if we’re building the right thing before we make it • On Wednesday we need your help understand the technical concerns of our idea • If the developer is unable to attend the entire Sprint, you could ask them to only attend day 3 and observe 1 or 2 tests on day 5 Selling Design Sprints
  • 12. Answering the “research question” Are 5 users enough to get statistically significant results? Selling Design Sprints
  • 13. No but… 5 users is not statistically significant but that’s not the goal. We’re looking for directional accuracy. Selling Design Sprints
  • 14. Selling to researchers Researchers and data-orientated stakeholders need more context Selling points • According to a study performed by the Nelson Norman Group, beyond 5 users of a single group we tend to find the same problems (http://bit.ly/2kDgfVc) • After the Sprint is over, we’ll want to spend time revising the design based on what we’ve learned. We’ll test with users again and learn even more • Don Norman reminds us, “designers don’t start from zero.” Hopefully, the team has been doing research outside of the context of project we’ll be relying on that research as well. (http://bit.ly/2kgsx2n) Selling Design Sprints
  • 17. Activities follow similar structures Anatomy of an activity Modeled from Gamestorming Opening (Divergent) Closing (Convergent) Exploration Make everyone feel welcome. Establish what we’re doing and why. Bring things to a conclusion. Establish what we agreed to and ensure everyone 
 is aligned. Keep everyone on task. Facilitating Design Sprints
  • 18. Always be prepared Preparation is the best way to reduce anxiety/fear associated with leading 
 a group • Practice activity openings • Create a checklist • Give the participants homework • Have backup exercises Facilitating Design Sprints
  • 19. Here’s a few great books on facilitation (links are on the resources slide) Good sources for backup exercises Facilitating Design Sprints
  • 20. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” - Oscar Wilde Facilitating Design Sprints
  • 21. Be yourself; only better Facilitating conversations is a lot like user research • Be neutral, when you can be • Use open questions to explore topics • Restate answers in your own words to confirm understanding and expose gaps • Practice 5 whys Facilitating Design Sprints
  • 22. Be a great host Make everyone feel comfortable • Feed people (if you're having a long meeting) • Take breaks every 1.5 - 2 hours • Encourage quiet people to participate • Check the room temperature • Be considerate of health issues and disabilities Facilitating Design Sprints
  • 23. Facilitation Resources • Sprint (Book) http://amzn.to/2kec1oy • Gamestorming (Book) http://amzn.to/2lByUiU • CTRL SHIFT (Book) http://amzn.to/2luKTBO • Facilitator's Guide to Participatory Decision-Making (Book) http://amzn.to/2kT1uMD • Designing the Conversation (Book) http://amzn.to/2l4hM7y • Good Kickoff Meetings (website) GoodKickoffMeetings.com • Sprint Stories (Medium) SprintStories.com • “How we’re adapting Google’s Design Sprint to get testable prototypes in a week” 
 (Table XI Blog) http://bit.ly/2ke97A8
  • 24. Questions about facilitating Sprints? Next Steps (not goodbye) • Visit this link: http://bit.ly/2l0b8PS for a copy of this presentation • Speak to me if you want to know more about Table XI hiring (note we have a chef…) • Connect with me at @ebinion and continue the conversation