How Designsprints rock the Discovery Phase
Updated: Jan 3
When successful startups scale, it's time for an evolution. The speed and agility of small tech teams are incredible - yet the »better done than perfect mentality« has taken its toll. It was about time to clean up the code, design, processes and to sharpen the goals. An important step of that journey was the relaunch of the product detail page from scratch. Not only is it the most viewed page for this well-known European marketplace -we alsowanted to set new standards in the way customer facing product teams work in this company.
An 8 days design sprint was conducted, - in this time the whole product team elaborated the relaunch, from deep problem understanding until prepared user stories. Developed by Google, a Design Sprint is a framework for solving problems and generating reasonable concepts (www.thesprintbook.com/). Often it compresses the work of months within days.
1. Identifying the challenges: Clear goals of the initiatives were defined and needed to be met - for the product but also for the collaboration between people.
• How to enhance the Conversion Rate of the page significantly? • How to set up the page with the highest technical standards and make it faster
than the competition?
Cultural goals: • How to engage and align all stakeholders in a meaningful and efficient way? • How to upgrade Product Management and speed up collaboration and delivery? 2. Defining how we work:
At Value Rebels we believe that the following principles enable valuable collaboration and highly successful products - those principles guided the company through the design sprint and helped to reach the goals.
Principle 1: Challenge the status quo
The power of habit is strong. Often companies are not even aware of these traps, they sneak in organically. The whole product page was turned upside down, every pixel got challenged, clear responsibilities were defined, processes were optimized. Beyond that an extensive research helped to understand the state of the art of modern E-Commerce platforms - design wise and technical wise.
Principle 2: Transparency
A design sprint is an ideal tool to condense and share information rapidly. In this case stakeholders from all departments were involved. Communicating results and decisions in a transparent manner keeps people up to date as well as engaged, f.e. visual pin boards are more prompting than protocols and countless emails. Indeed everyone had the chance to contribute to the design sprint, as the progress was openly reviewed at all stages.
Principle 3: Evidence over Opinion
Companywide initiatives tend to be complex and opinion driven. It's crucial to establish a culture about clear factual knowledge - data driven. When arguments and opinions are quantitative or qualitative proven, it helps to make informed decisions and prioritize work. We consider evidence based ways of working not only as a fundamental start for every initiative but also as THE driver during the delivery. Releasing to a few users early and measuring the performance along the way - this is how you ensure the optimal solution.
Principle 4: Make your product team become experts of their product
Developerscode, UX does the design and something with users, the PM does the strategy and writes stories in the backlog.
This is not how we understand value driven product management. Instead the product team was heavily involved in the design sprint. The technical setup was highly driven by engineers, this boosted the motivation and the performance of the product team. Backend-engineers were even drawing wireframes, designers were defining page load sequences. After all, the team had a common understanding of all user stories.
Principle 5: Involve users early to falsify your idea
It is no rocket science to set up user testing or simple A/B tests. Just listen to your audience - it will be magical.
During the Design Sprint we set up several User Testings along the way: analyzing the status quo as well as falsifying new ideas. We are curious about the things that don’t work instead of validating new features.
Releasing and measuring concepts to customers early on helps to shape your product - or tamping it down if needed.
The dialogue with users is crucial for our work. It drives more value to the company and helps the product team to see sense in their work.
Coming back to our goals, the following results were achieved after the product page was released
Functional goals: • Raised overall conversion rate up to 4% • Raised the page load speed for 40% and keeping pace with 2 market leaders Cultural goals: This Design Spring is a successful example of how to build and improve features. The principles were taken into the daily routine of the product team. Along with the implementation of the new page, which took several months, the team would remember how they came up with the concept together. It is important for the team and all stakeholders to have common goals, a deep problem understanding and an open and experimental solution space. This sets the road to a continuous and fast implementation.