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ROLE

Design Sprint Facilitator

SKILLS

Workshop Facilitating UX Design UI Design Rapid Prototyping

I was approached by a banking client to plan and facilitate a design sprint with their consumer banking division. Together with a cross-functional team of 8 employees, we collaboratively defined, ideated, conceptualised, mapped, and prototyped a re-imagined customer journey for the future of financial planning and advice for middle-income African families.

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The Design Sprint

Design sprints are an amazingly innovative way of using a collaborative user-centric design to solve business problems.

Bringing together a team of individuals from every corner of an organisation - from sales to IT to marketing to customer service - we work as one unit, incorporating individual domain knowledge into team exercises to re-imagine an experience. Using a range of immersive and collaborative ideation techniques to synthesize important insights that inform critical product decisions, ideas can quickly be propelled to the next phases of the product development lifecycle.

The Brief

Insurance and banking are geared up to be the next sub-Saharan African industries shaken up by the little monster that is disruption, with more and more customers prefering to bank and engage with insurers online. Our client's research had shown that financial planning and advice were key elements of the emerging value proposition for their middle-income segment, and their existing forages into the digital space weren't quite yielding the results they would have liked. Early user research had drawn out a number of pain points and concerns voiced by these 'family provider' customers, and this formed the basis of the personas and Sprint materials I prepared.

The Process

As Design and Sprint Lead, I planned, prepared, and then flew in to facilitate the 3-day Sprint, guiding the team to maintain focus and prompting them through the process and activities to produce our final outputs.

I then had the monumental UX and UI task of churning out a hi-fidelity prototype of the team's final wireframes in under 24 hours.

Each design sprint is an adventure in its own right, and I generally mould and tweak the process depending on the product, team dynamic, and time available. In this particular case we took the following steps to success:

  1. Opportunity - Defining the business opportunity and the size of the solution space.
  2. Product - Defining "blue sky" feature sets that will have a transformative effect on the process and its users.
  3. Needs - Defining the core needs of the key customers of the process by focusing on their pain points to identify trends.
  4. Ideation - Brainstorming features that solve for these pain points, and identifying areas flush out in more detail.
  5. Future Vision - Mapping the future process flow and collaboratively sketching key components.
  6. Next Steps - Creating a key features backlog prioritized by business value, and then outlining key risks, assumptions and next steps.

The Results

Taking on board the design principles drilled in over the course of the sprint, the team came up with simple tablet experience that guided users through their individual financial planning goals in plain English.

The sprint was wildly successful, both from a participant and a business outcome perspective, and the interactive prototype that came out of the team's work was eventually developed into a mobile and tablet app.

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