At Craft, we recruit for digital, UX and UI designers day in day out, so when a chance came up to take part in a ‘Design in a Day Workshop’ I was in. Design sprints, agile working, waterfall methodologies are terms I come across a lot speaking to creatives, so this was a chance for me see for myself the importance of this working practise and how it is used in design.
Hosted by Hippo Digital the aim of the day was to cover the core phases of a design sprint - ideas generation, questioning and solutions, storyboarding, journey mapping, wireframing and user testing - all in 1 day!
Lucky for us, these are professionals.
We were a mix of UX designers, graduates, digital novices and freelancers, so we kicked things off with an icebreaker which did the job nicely (drawing your partner without looking at the page). We were then head first into the problem we would be tackling for the rest of the day - ‘How can we encourage people to be more proactive with their health?’
This wasn’t about design skill or industry knowledge, this process is about quick ideas, collaboration and innovation, that cuts through the endless discussion cycles to give you ideas and prototypes to test and question before committing to the final project.
With everyone having a chance to voice their ideas as well as team discussions and voting on solutions, this was a refreshingly open way of working and didn’t leave time to become precious over ideas or overthink anything.
After storyboarding our user journey and pinpointing where our solution would appear, we started the paper prototyping. Using good old pen and paper, we plotted our wireframe ideas and planned tasks for the user to complete, to test the usability and thought process of our user.
This was where quick decisions had to be made, put down in pen and paper and tested. It became apparent just how difficult this phase is, but the more feedback we got (and confused looks on our users faces) the more solutions we had for improvement on screen layout, language and task options. And this is the whole point - before committing big budgets and huge amounts of time to projects we got to see how well our ideas worked with real-life people.
We presented our findings and conclusions to the group and after just 7 hours, had some pretty useful insights into what we should try next (and what we shouldn’t). Whether used for a design brief or to solve business solutions the core elements of brainstorming ideas, questioning solutions, collaboration and testing with real-life humans can be taken into so many scenarios - so look out team Craft, I’m planning a design sprint or two for you now…
By Aidan Liggins, Lead Resourcer.