But direction setting and prototyping shouldn't take months, nor should tens of thousands be sunk into projects without the right types of early validation.
By adopting the best elements of the tried and tested Google Ventures Design Sprint methodology, we seek to rapidly test solutions to business challenge or customer need across the three elements of Desirability, Feasibility and Viability.
What is a design sprint?
A design sprint is a proven process to validate or close out new product ideas or solutions to solve a specific customer or business need. It brings together the right stakeholders from across a business to tackle a thorny problem, culminating in testing the developed hypotheses using a newly created prototype with customers.
Our philosophy is that a hypothesis should be tested with the requisite fidelity of tool - the design sprint focusses on just this - helping to avoid thousands in sunk costs.
Our service offering:
With our experience we help our customers to gain value from the Design Sprint methodology in three ways:
- End-to-End: The Codehouse team will deliver the whole process, from planning to facilitation to prototype creation - even providing the (healthy) tasty snacks*. This works well when this is your first design sprint and you want to be shown the ropes
- Facilitate: We can support a process you already are kicking off and provide one of our expert facilitators to help run the process smoothly to help you achieve the outcomes you hope to achieve (we can even map your goals together
- Coach: We love to train the trainers. An organisation will not solve all its transformational opportunities in one design sprint. So having your own cadre of elite design sprint facilitators will help you achieve more, faster. And we'll still be here for a friendly word if you need us
What does a design sprint look like
The truth is the design sprint was originally a prescriptive methodology, but the spirit of the process is what we believe matters. For each customer and each opportunity we work on the design sprint looks different, but they all follow the same few steps all within just a few days:
Based on the opportunity at hand, identify the individuals who need to be in the process and set expectations that this will require their (near) full attention and prepare the background information.
2. Understand the map
We share all of the background information we have collectively gathered. This includes - user insights and inputs from our subject matter experts. We map all of this out in connection to the challenge we are looking to solve.
3. Demos & sketch
With the problem framed, we know move into idea generation mode. We rapidly sketch out lots of ideas (no points for being a Rembrandt - just for good thinking) - and through rounds of iterations we delve into the details.
4. Design & storyboard
We then collectively decide on the direction to go and work towards achieving the common goal with detailed storyboarding in preparation for the prototyping.
Even with the Codehouse Design team at the wheel of the design tool to create the prototype, this is still a joint collaborative effort.
The most valuable part of the process is to test our assumptions with real users and get instant feedback.
7. Review & next steps
As a group we review the progress made and decide on next steps. The prototype shouldn't go into a draw. The insights gathered will lead to important action towards our defined goal. In some cases this is building a new digital product, in other cases it's making subtle tweaks to our existing service.
We like meeting everyone in person, and breaking bread, but when logistics or circumstances beyond our control mean that remote workshops are the best way to go, it can work just as well. Tools like Figma, Miro and Teams enable us to collaborate, and we've learnt the hard way how to do remote workshops successfully.