We ended Monday with a quick overview of the Lightning Demos scheduled for the next day. For reference, Lightning Demos are a kind of blitz research on existing solutions to draw inspiration from and generate ideas for functionalities, medium, format, etc. We wanted to make sure everyone understood the concept and had some time on Monday evening to do some research beforehand, hopefully saving us some valuable time during the Sprint the next day.
This proved both advantageous and not so on Tuesday morning — though we needed less time to explain the concept behind the Lightning Demos, allowing everyone to do some research beforehand resulted in far too many examples to cover. This resulted in a bit of a backfire in terms of time management. Overall, however, the team managed to cover a lot of different tools and consider functionalities. As everyone presented their research, I drew quick sketches and wireframes of the most interesting functionalities on the board for later reference.
…once everyone got into the process of thinking, drawing and doodling, the room went quiet save for the sound of pen scratches and concentration.
Tuesday afternoon covered one of the most creative and fun parts of the Sprint - Sketching. Everyone in the room had all of Tuesday afternoon to sketch their ideas for a solution based on everything we had discussed and all the materials that were up in the meeting room — the Sprint Questions, Long-term Goals, the How-Might-We notes, etc. As we handed out the papers and pens, sceptical glances were thrown around the room by those who considered themselves non-creative (which was nearly everyone in the Sprint) and there was some muttering of protest in the beginning. But once everyone got into the process of thinking, drawing and doodling, the room went quiet save for the sound of pen scratches and concentration. Keeping the sketches as private as possible before the decision process on Wednesday morning proved to be an excellent way to prevent possible bias.
Tuesday afternoon gave us a lot of good, viable ideas from everyone in the room. Everyone had a chance to illustrate their vision of the solution and the functionalities they felt were most important. Having this many possible solutions also posed a problem, of course. How would we choose the best one and which specific functionalities?
This is where the decision process and the Deciders played a key role on Wednesday morning by using the Sticky Decision method. This is a five-step process where
Since we had two Deciders instead of just one, we also ended up with more than one final solution. Ordinarily, this would mean a possible Rumble — pitting the solutions up against each other. However, we found that the solutions ultimately chosen could be merged perfectly into one master solution.
Our final step together as a team was drafting the Storyboard on Wednesday afternoon. Using sticky notes, we laid out the part of the process we wanted to focus on and ultimately turn into wireframes and mockups. Then, through discussing and combining the final sketches and functionalities, I sketched out the process in rough wireframes so I’d already have a head-start for drawing out the final designs.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable and valuable experience, both for our client and for ourselves. At the very least, everyone got a break from their regular work routine. We learned a lot about our client, the project and what it takes to run a Design Sprint. We’re already looking forward to the next one, where we’ll (hopefully) be able to run the full Sprint.
A special thanks to Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz for writing the Sprint book and providing us with such a rich tool for running our own Design Sprint. And, of course, to our client, who gave us the trust and opportunity to run this Sprint with them.