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UX Australia 2016: 5 steps to run a successful design sprint

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UX Australia 2016: 5 steps to run a successful design sprint

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A practical understanding of how to run a successful Design Sprint. 5 key learning’s from our experience:
1. Solve a BIG problem
2. You need five days
3. Involve customers
4. Planning is critical
5. Get the right people in the room

A practical understanding of how to run a successful Design Sprint. 5 key learning’s from our experience:
1. Solve a BIG problem
2. You need five days
3. Involve customers
4. Planning is critical
5. Get the right people in the room

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UX Australia 2016: 5 steps to run a successful design sprint

  1. 1. @cj_gray@cj_gray 5 steps to run a successful Design Sprint UX Australia 2016 Chris Gray
  2. 2. @cj_gray
  3. 3. @cj_gray Hello! Chris Gray • Worked in UX for 15 years • Teach at General Assembly • Lover of vintage video games • Director and lead at Nomat a boutique UX firm – We support organisations such as flybuys, Telstra, ANZ, Australia Post and start-ups including Vervoe and Gooroo
  4. 4. @cj_gray What is a Design Sprint?
  5. 5. @cj_gray@cj_gray Solve a BIG problem @cj_gray
  6. 6. @cj_gray@cj_gray You NEED 5 days @cj_gray
  7. 7. @cj_gray@cj_gray Involve customers @cj_gray
  8. 8. @cj_gray@cj_gray Planning is critical @cj_gray
  9. 9. @cj_gray Planning a sprint Effortless Source: https://developers.google.com/design-sprint/downloads/DesignSprintMethods.pdf
  10. 10. @cj_gray@cj_gray Get the right people in the room @cj_gray
  11. 11. @cj_gray@cj_gray Wrap-up: 1. Solve a BIG problem 2. You need five days 3. Involve customers 4. Planning is critical 5. Get the right people in the room @cj_gray
  12. 12. @cj_gray Should we run a design sprint? Effortless  We have a defined customer problem and business problem  We don’t know the solution to the problem yet  We want to learn quickly and cheaply  We are comfortable with generating new ideas  We are ok with finding a solution that doesn’t work  We have the resources and desire to pursue an identified solution
  13. 13. @cj_gray@cj_gray Thanks! nomat.com.au chris@nomat.com.au @cj_gray

Notes de l'éditeur

  • In less than 10 seconds the greatest sprinter of all time breaks the world record. Like a design sprint it happens quickly but the race represents only a fraction of the process.
    Today I’ll share 5 steps for running a successful Design Sprint based on our experiences of running them for clients; big and small.
  • We’re passionate about people & helping them to achieve their goals. Supporting out team members to achieve their career goals, supporting our clients to achieve successful commercial outcomes and creating outstanding experiences for our clients end users. We do this through pragmatic design and research to solve business problems.
  • The sprint is a five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers.
    According the Google Ventures guys, their sprint process (which is how we tackle sprints) draws on existing processes and techniques, including:
    IDEO
    Stanford d.school Workshop techniques
    Research techniques


  • By choosing a BIG problem you are giving yourself the opportunity to gain access to some of the things you need for a successful sprint. This includes, access to senior people’s time for a whole week, adequate time to prepare, the money to bring in real users and other resrouces you’ll need for the week. With a small problem that’s not important to the business, gaining these things will be much harder.
    Once the 5 day sprint has finished it will be easier to maintain the momentum with a BIG problem in order to reach a solution.

    An examples of a BIG problems we have tackled using a Sprint was Reimagining a product’s core proposition to allow it to reach a new customer base.
  • When we run training the most common question I get asked about design sprints is does it have to be 5 days? YES
    Each of the 5 days has a number of key elements, (setting a direction, exploring the problem, identifying solutions etc)
    by running one in less than 5 days you are watering down the process or short-cutting the information that is needed to flow through to the next stage.
    I mentioned before that you should focus on solving BIG problems, these takes time to solve them properly.
  • It’s crucial that this steps isn’t de-scoped for budgetary or time reasons.
    Design Sprints must involve the end user – otherwise we are adding more assumptions to the design process. Obviously I’m preaching to the converted!
    Involving the customer has key benefits:
    1. Design the right product for our customers.
    2. And it will provide evidence to help support the solution after the sprint.
  • I’m sure you’ve seen this – but I like it!!
    Planning a sprint:
    Logistics include booking a venue, arranging whiteboards, sketching paper, sharpies, scheduling peoples etc.
    Management of stakeholders – need to gain buy-in from stakeholders and help them to understand what’s realistic from a sprint and helping them to understand when it’s the right tool.
    Also set-clear expectations about what will happen during the sprint. Helping them to understand what they need to bring to the table and how the 5 days will run. So they understand the way the sprint is being run and why. Once the sprint starts there isn’t a lot of time to explain the process. It is also critical to tie the sprint activities back to the goals of the sprint and the problem you’re trying to solve.

    Once the gun fires changing direction is incredibly challenging.
  • There are some obvious people needed …(developer, designer, subject matter experts, protoypers, researchers etc)
    BUT we suggest it’s:
    1. Key decision maker, for obvious reasons, or someone who understands intimately their needs
    2. That person who knows everyone in the company and can get info quickly
    3. The advocate. They’ll sell the sprint to others, advocate for the solution, and sprints more generally.
  • As you’ve seen the steps covered today don’t focus on the 5 days of the sprint:


  • Let me leave you with one final point.
    Be prepared to walk away…
    Success is linked to running sprints when they are most appropriate. Here is a quick checklist we adapted with the help of John Paul Ungar to help discover if a design sprint is the right approach to solve your business problem. Run through this with your key stakeholders; if you can tick all the statements then get sprinting.

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