The Cojo Design Sprint. Creating products and solutions in a better and more efficient way. All in 5 days! This is done through design, prototyping and gaining real insights from customers (without the huge financial commitment), this is based on the Google Sprint process!
Gone are the days of long winded projects, months on end building a product that may not be the right fit. This can be incredibly time consuming and expensive. We target a specific problem, and create a solution, through a prototype which tests and validates the solution with real users. This design sprint approach can be applied to literally anything, from building a mobile app to perfecting your morning coffee. We’ve already conquered the latter.
Our most popular 🏃
1. Super Lean MVP, or a SLMVP for short…
Jokes aside, you can really have a huge impact with using a design sprint for this. We design a lean yet mean product, focusing on the core proposition. This is in the form of sexy visuals and a clickable prototype. Which can be downloaded straight to your phone/tablet.
2. Improving an existing product
Either through a redesign or tackling a very specific problem. For example, increasing retention and engagement in the signup process.
Our sprint week differs slightly with branding, but the overall approach is similar. We create the whole shebang, a full branding identity including a brand strategy, brand guidelines and relevant assets. This is great for people on a lean timeframe or budget. From years of experience, we’ve found that more time doesn’t necessarily equal better results, designing with our gut feeling is an efficient and effective approach.
A typical week
Starting on a Monday. We usually like to come in with some context about the Founders, and the idea. However we always ask them to talk about the product/problem again, it’s always beneficial to hear the story from them directly. After fully understanding it, we begin to map this out and start discussing the ideas and solutions. We go a bit gung-ho here, we literally all write as many ideas as we can think of. We then share and work together to narrow it down.
Tuesday is a crucial day, this is where decisions get made. We come in and straight away get cracking, looking at the shortlist of ideas and solutions we get going on sketching these out. No need for a Degree in Fine Art here, stick men and squiggly lines are perfectly fine. After this we all agree on the best solution, or two. Tip, it’s paramount to have someone with control in the company present, preferably the Founder/CEO. This is so that any decisions can be made on the spot, this additionally prevents something we all hate…feature creep 👻.
Wednesday is for mapping out the UX, basically having a visual sketch of the solution. We also work together to storyboard the user testing day. This is important to make sure that we’re focused on designing what is most important and necessary for the user testing on Friday, and it’s also a great way to plan the day. We like to start our storyboard with the very beginning of where a user would encounter the product. If it’s a mobile app, then start in the App/Google Play store. If its a web platform, then start at a web browser. Or if its a home-brew coffee, then the shop the coffee was bought from.
The whole of Thursday is spent making the sketches from Wednesday look pretty, adding colour and styling the overall user interface. We focus solely on designing what’s most important, and what we will be presenting to the users. It really doesn’t need to be a polished article, so being efficient is imperative. The most important aspect here is to make the experience feel real, this makes sure that we’re getting the most accurate data from the users.
The last day of the sprint is on Friyay. Probably our favourite day, the user testing sessions are always great fun and insightful. We aim for 5 users (recommended by Jakob Nielsen’s studies), these users are chosen before the sprint, and we always work with the Founders to find users that are the most fitting. A person happily married for over 30 years probably wouldn’t be the best option for a dating app… Our preference for these user testing sessions, are 1–1 interviews. We’ve found that group sessions are not always as beneficial, people usually influence each other. Although we aim to be as friendly as possible, these sessions can by virtue be quite daunting, especially if you’ve never done user testing before. I for one have had a bad experience, so making the sessions as laid back and friendly as possible is a must! The tests are very much led by the user, although we do have a short list of questions. The questions are all open ended, and conversational, this reduces the chance of influencing and tainting the data.
On a final note
We ❤ sprints, it’s something that clearly works. A lot really can get done, especially when there’s a short (and forced) deadline on the horizon. Clients really enjoy it too, it’s fun, interactive and collaborative which we find really helps all parties. We’re strong believers in building strong and lasting relationships with the people we work with, the Design Sprint definitely helps us with that! To put it simply…we believe the Design Sprint is a better and faster solution to solving a problem.
We would love to hear how your sprint differs, and if there’s anything that you think we could do better! We’re constantly learning and developing, one thing we do find hard is selling the sprint vision, any tips would be appreciated.