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Let’s talk about Design Sprint

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4 days to solve a set of problems, test new ideas, and obtain a prototype that’s been tested by users: that’s the Design Sprint methodology.

Never heard of Design Spring before? Well that’s convenient because we’re here to teach you and let you find out what it’s all about!

Design Spring is a 4-day process aimed at quickly solving a set of problems, creating a new product or indeed improving an existing one, and doing so in a coconstructive way. It makes it possible to condense months of work into just a few days! Tempting, don’t you reckon?  We agree with you!

Why and in which cases should you use Design Sprint?

Thanks to the collective intelligence of your team, Design Sprint will make it possible to:

  • Find solutions to a complex set of problems
  • Obtain a solution quickly, with a high-fidelity prototype
  • Test the solution with real users before investing time and budget in the product or service
  • Limit the risks by testing the potential of a concept or a product without having to invest in the development
  • Know whether it’s worth developing a product, whether it’s worth creating a functionality or whether your value proposal really is valuable
  • Reorientate or adapt the project if necessary, without taking risks

«Design Sprint is still not being used widely enough by businesses, but it remains the best way to conceptualize and rapidly test a new product without taking risks»
Maeva, UX Strategist @ La niche

How does it work, then, specifically?

Design Spring is a workshop that you attend in teams (of between 3 and 7 people). Firstly for a period of 2 days, for the customer, hand-in-hand with the digital agency, and then 2 more days just for the agency.

Before the Sprint

A few weeks beforehand, a meeting is organised with the project manager to discuss the subject of the Design Sprint and provide some context for it. In this way, we make sure that we are going to get some relevant results at the end of the project. During this meeting, it will also be a case of putting together a team of people who are close to the subject or to the users being targeted.

During the Sprint 

 

  • Day 1 (the deciders + the digital agency): Definition of the challenges, vote to determine the level of priority, brainstorming session (putting forward of solutions, as a team).
  • Day 2 (the deciders + the digital agency): A vote is held, as a team, to select one of the solutions and define the storyboard for it.
  • Day 3 (digital agency): Internal production by the UX designer team of a high-fidelity, black and white interactive prototype, and preparation of user tests.
  • Day 4 (digital agency): Test of the prototype with users and creation of reporting (collecting of users’ impressions and behaviours).

After the Sprint

At the end of the Design Sprint, you receive a report on the user tests conducted on the high-fidelity black and white interactive prototype of your product. This road map will also be accompanied by recommendations for next steps. Thanks to our team of designers, you will also be able to finalise the prototype, by incorporating your identity into your design.

Ardennes-Étapes in Sprint mode

It was in an extremely collaborative and efficient frame of mind that we put the Design Sprint process in place with our client Ardennes-Etapes, who requested this working technique that really is an entire technique in its own right.

A real partnership rapidly developed between our team and theirs, with a constructive working atmosphere and a clear collaboration.

To get things moving as fast as possible, Ardennes-Etapes initially went through a preparation phase with its entire team. We will then meet up at a big kickoff meeting, in order to hold a full briefing with as much information and as many parameters and clarifications as possible, but also so as to define the needs, clarify the request and meet all the people involved in the project.

Design Sprint requires those involved to really work hand-in-hand, and all the team members on the client side must genuinely be involved. That’s why coming face to face with all the membes – namely, the decision-makers but also the developers, the operators, the marketers, etc. – is vital and constitutes a significant saving in time. This enables us to ask our questions directly to the right person and to work effectively.

In advance of this kickoff, our team had already thrown itself into the project thanks to the basic information that we already had, so as to get an understanding of the mission and imagine some potential solutions.

This project did not request a Project Manager at La niche because it was Arnaud, our Head of Design, who took the lead on this project. He was therefore the main client contact throughout the entire process.

« Thanks to Design Spring, we quickly had perfect knowledge of the context of the project, and this is enabling us to develop, with the client, a clear and consistent vision of the solution as a whole »
Arnaud Fontaine, Head of Design @ La niche

One of the primary tasks during this Sprint with Ardennes-Etapes was to optimise the process on the website in the booking flow: that is, a full review of the process of booking a house, from the homepage to payment – so as to limit friction points for users, and harmonize everything so that each user can find the information they need in the right place, to avoid the need for an online chat or a call to the Call Center. One of the obvious goals was therefore to limit the calls to the Call Center, and, obviously, to encourage the making of a booking.

Thanks to a very productive kickoff with all the members of the client’s team, we are able to move forward in the right direction from the very outset. This also enables us, during the first workshop, to have a first UX prototype for the solution that is already very clear.

On our side, 3 individuals are involved in this project: Arnaud, Head of Design, quoted above, along with a UX/UI strategist and a designer.

Following our proposal of a design that would respond perfectly to the solution, taking account of their needs and the technical challenges, the solution is tested, in this case by our client. Following this user test phase, we proceed to modify certain elements based on the client’s feedback. This version then met our expectations perfectly.

The Design Sprint process enabled us to do some qualitative work with a degree of efficiency that was second to none, thanks to a fruitful collaboration with the team at La niche.
François Hanzen, Digital Manager @ Ardennes-Étapes

Ardennes-Etapes is a client and a project that lends itself perfectly to the technique of Design Sprint – a technique that we have already updated since – simply by virtue of the fact that they are extremely responsive, and have shown an efficiency and productivity that match those of our teams perfectly.

At the end of this process, which lasts several days, we reach a point where we have worked well both qualitatively and quantitatively, at minimal cost. The work done on our side, at the agency, can obviously be extended depending on the complexity of the solution.

Are you curious about this methodology? Do you think it would lend itself to your project? Let’s discuss it over a ☕️ !

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