Eva Schmittgall Thu, Oct 4, '18 4 min read

An expert's inside word on the business of design sprints.

There’s no better acid test for a concept than to see if it works in practice. Jade has been using Design Sprints for some time, so we asked Christian, one of our top experience designers, what he thinks about them. Feel free to watch the video or read the adapted transcript below.


I'm Christian, I'm a design strategist for Jade...

I haven't always worked in user experience (UX). I actually started off as a Java developer but quickly realised that I'm really more concerned about how users interact with products rather than coding. Don't get me wrong, coding is hugely important, but if you're coding the wrong thing there's no point in coding at all. So that made me change to becoming a UX designer.

Product design is all about solving problems and finding solutions that fit these problems best. And a design sprint is one of the best tools for addressing such a challenge. The big advantage of design sprints getting real data from people within one week - you start testing your idea on the Monday and on the Friday you know how well it does. One differentiator Jade has in this space (compared to some in-house UX teams or design agencies) is that we bring technical expertise to the process to ensure whatever is designed can be made. After all, if you can't cost-effectively code it, you need to question whether it's worth building.

For our clients, the most surprising thing for them about our design sprints is definitely what transpires on the Friday. When they see the prototype in action and to learn how actual people doing to use it, and that's where they learn the most - they see the value and are in a better position to create a successful (or unsuccessful) business case. When CapEx and OpEx budgets are tight, ensuring time, effort, and spend are utilised to solve the right problems whilst providing appropriate returns is critical. Hence, design sprints can acknowledge that the idea shouldn't proceed and an alternative solution should be explored. 

One of the biggest myths circulating about design sprints is that having five users for testing is not enough. To the contrary, having five users gives us enough insight to get big themes so we can improve upon the idea and make decisions for the next steps.

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