It’s Monday, 7AM. We’re at Schiphol Airport with our five Design Sprint experts. The airport is filled with sleepy faces and a lot of suits. (Luckily, we work for a digital agency, so we can dress however we want.) We’re about to board a plane to London. There, we’ll facilitate the first two days of a Design Sprint with a new client. We haven’t had any coffee yet, so we can still catch some sleep on the plane. Let’s go!
O2, a leading mobile network operator in the UK and one of Merkle’s clients, has asked us to help them build a platform to manage their store operations communications. That’s why we’re going to London.
For challenges like these, we love using Design Sprints, so that’s what we suggested to O2. A Sprint is an awesome way of validating ideas and concepts in just a couple of days. You first create a prototype to validate your ideas. This way, you’ll know what is actually worth building.
But where were we? Back to our London story! Once we arrive in the British capital, we take the tube to O2's office right away. Confident to do something great, we enter the office. At 10AM, we still have an entire day of Design Sprint before us! No sleepy faces, as you can see in the photo below:
Now, let's have a look at some of the highlights of our London Design sprint!
Monday, 5PM, London
By now, the first day of the Design Sprint is almost over. We identified the client's long-term goal for this project, and we did journey mapping to clarify the communication flows between O2's HQ and their stores. We also interviewed some O2 employees to gain in-depth knowledge about their processes. We then picked a target for the rest of the Sprint.
The room smells a bit sweaty, and there are some tired but satisfied faces! At the end of such a day, it’s quite normal for a meeting room to look like this:
At this point, everyone in the room gives their feedback about Day 1 on the Feedback Door: the scores are mostly 4’s and 5's. That’s a good score, but there’s still some room for improvement. Just how we like it.
Tuesday, 9AM, London
It’s time for the second day of the Design Sprint. Today, we have a packed schedule with things like lightning demos (getting inspiration from already existing products) and sketching.
Every Sprint participant will sketch a prototype, showing how the new platform should look and interact. After having a look at all the sketches, everyone gets to vote on their favorite solution. In the end, the key decision maker from O2 has the final vote. After separating the winning ideas from the maybe-laters, we'll have everything we need to start making a prototype.
Tuesday, 6PM, London City Airport
It’s the end of the second day of the Design Sprint, and we’re about to fly back to Amsterdam. By now, we’ve gathered enough input, requirements, ideas for the designs, and sketches to go back to our office. Once we’re back in Amsterdam, our designer will start working on a clickable prototype.
It was quite fun to go to London for two days; not just because we added client-value, but also because we enjoyed being together with a group of co-workers. And during this trip, we had the opportunity to meet some of our new colleagues from Merkle! This sparked our interest in working together more closely in the near feature. 🙂
Thursday, 1:30PM, Merkle office
Back in Amsterdam, our designer Michiel is busy transforming the outcomes of the last couple of days into a prototype design. Building a clickable prototype is our way of validating the ideas that came up during the first days of the Design Sprint. Later on, we'll test this prototype with O2 employees to see what they think of it. As we’ve agreed to deliver this prototype at the end of the day, we’re in a bit of a hurry!
Wednesday, 4PM, client store, London
The client’s project lead and I just finished testing the prototype in a few O2 stores across London. We interviewed a lot of employees while they were using our prototype. They liked the app and were enthusiastic about actually using it. By testing our ideas, we now know how this app will assist the communication process between O2's headquarters and their stores.
Having validated the concept on a small scale, the client now knows that its concept is worth building. The results of this Design Sprint will serve as valuable input for creating the actual product.
That’s how a Design Sprint helps us take off with a head start!
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⛑️ Beat fear of change by validating early
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