One methodology, different experiences
The Design Sprint was created by Google Ventures and is a famous process using design thinking with the aim of enabling teams to solve problems, generate new ideas and validate assumptions in 4 or 5 days. If you are uncertain if your solution will solve a problem for your clients, then do a design sprint to test your assumptions. Companies of all sizes have been using this process and modifying it to get significant results in shorter times than ever and enabling them to go-to-market faster with products and features.
As there’s a variety of exciting topics related to design sprints, Booking.com, Flow, and Hike One teamed up to host a design sprint meetup on Thursday, the 23rd of January, at Booking.com’s HQ in Amsterdam. During our meetup, speakers shared their experiences in design sprints from corporate, agency and start-up perspectives. They were more or less on the same page concerning the need to focus on a clear challenge, one clear persona, and the right team composition. But using the same methodology, there were three clear differences to zoom into:
The venue: game-changer or overrated?
Firstly, FinTech startup Flow wanted to test a future version of their product. But the Flow team is spread out in different countries and financial resources are limited, so they did a design sprint remotely. Flow founder Daan van Klinken proved that although it is crucial to have a designated room for the entirety of the design sprint, it is entirely possible to create a digital room with a combination of collaborative software and reliable telecommunications, like Miro, Asana, Sketch, Slack, Lookback, Whereby, Figma and Concepts. The result: ‘the best-documented design sprint’. Go through Daan's presentation slides.
However, Robbie Farrell, the product designer at Booking.com found that hosting a design sprint at a venue outside of their daily office is a ‘game-changer to get the right mindset and the best energy from all participants’.
Need for buy-in or just go?
Secondly, in contrast to startups, where founders are directly involved in the sprint, for large companies like Booking.com, it's crucial to get buy-in from leadership. Robbie's trial by fire served as a perfect example of why it's so important to get leadership's support before and during a design sprint. This ensures that time and resources are not wasted, and to make sure that the sprint outcomes are followed up and executed.
Oscar Jonker, strategist at Hike One reflects Robbie’s sentiment, ‘Make sure your stakeholders are part of the design sprint and the final solutions; Interview them as experts in advance, invite them for the user tests and for the team’s presentations about the results.’ Go through Oscar's presentation slides.
Learning is innovating
Thirdly, where startups naturally use Design Sprints to make decisions on how to improve their product. Robbie emphasized that to bring a design sprint culture to a large company like Booking.com, you need to build a group of design sprint advocates. Sharing your learnings and success of the sprints with others in the company, it's a massive step in that direction. Go through Robbie's presentation slides here.
Like some more?
This meetup was the first of a series. Follow Digital Creators Amsterdam for updates on other upcoming meetups.
About Digital Creators Amsterdam
Digital Creators Amsterdam is a community for digital product enthusiasts in the Amsterdam area. We get together to share and learn about the hottest topics in digital product creation. Whether you’re a Designer, Engineer, Researcher, or Product Manager feel welcome to join us for inspiring talks, workshops, networking sessions and food & drinks!
Sketches are by Lodovico Marchesini.