Hey guys, guess what!
This week we're going to run a design sprint for the entire v2 mobile platform.
One week you say?
For the whole platform?
OK, we'd better get started!
The design team knew that the first generation of the Simple platform was earmarked for a total ground-up rebuild.
We knew there were a huge range of limitations in the legacy tech stack and UI/UX, and we knew the dev team had major reservations about undertaking such a huge project rather than focus on delivering one solution space after the other.
What we didn't know was that early one crisp Monday morning in winter, we'd be tasked with exploring the translation and evolution of key desktop-only platform features into the mobile space, plus a raft of new solution work, all in a one-week design sprint.
The ultimate intent was to spark the imagination of the whole company, stimulate conversation and build momentum for the more rigorous design and development processes to come.
This was our first attempt at a Design Sprint and we didn't have any advance preparation time to really learn the process, so we probably took a few liberties and shortcuts along the way :-)
We did however follow the core Design Sprint methodology of six discrete steps - Understand, Define, Sketch, Decide, Prototype, and Validate; as well as collaborating at each gate, then working in parallel, before re-covening and deciding which direction to take the next day.
Lead for 3 other Designers
Pencil on paper
UI flow map
Slide deck presentation
Due to the compressed timeframe, we worked from existing personas, use cases, analytics and user feedback.
Some research and stakeholder engagement was necessary however into analysing effectiveness of the existing platform at a high level, plus investigating the new CX module (customer experience), as this was a knowledge gap for the design team.
Quick workshops were conducted with senior executives with prior experience in this area, as well as general web research (83KB PDF).
Then we mapped out the key experience points via stickies and whiteboard sketches before moving onto the key user flows and wireframes.
Personas & use cases
I need to understand what jobs are allocated to me, who to contact, and when they are due so I don't hold up anyone else.
I need to know which assets to approve, and by when, so I'm confident everything is on brief, on brand, on time, and compliant.
I need to assign and track all work across my campaigns so I can intervene when necessary and ensure they are delivered on time.
I need to set and manage team goals then track results so that I understand, improve and report on our organisational performance.
User flow map
Scope of work
The legacy platform was desktop only due to a combination of the technology available when created, plus the largely desk-bound nature of our user base in large marketing offices. However user feedback confirmed our belief that certain functions would benefit from mobile availability, similar to our successful Simple Approvals app.
We decided to focus on a basic onboarding flow plus four key feature streams: Work, Customer Experience (CX), Goals and Results.
My own personal focus was primarily on the CX module, with some brief investigation into the Results area afterwards.
Create, schedule, assign, action, track, and review production tasks
Track, filter, and view all campaign assets in market
Create, schedule, assign and track individual and team performance targets
Create, filter and view custom analytics dashboard based on integrations data
With only a week available, we weren't too worried about hi-fidelity outcomes so this was as far as we took the design.
UI flow map
(opens in new tab)
This prototype is fairly basic as it was wired up in a bit of a hurry from several different sketch files but... well you get an idea of how it was supposed to all hang together I guess...
Overall, the sprint was a success as it quickly generated a wealth of ideas and engaged the rest of the company.
We did feel as a team that a sense of momentum was building as intended, and it was genuinely exciting to start exploring the direction of our next generation product experience.
Ironically the v2 platform ended up remaining desktop-centric because that's where our key user audience continued to spend the vast majority of their day*, plus the sheer complexity of the problem space really doesn't translate effectively to mobile devices.
*Except select mobile-oriented workflows which were already catered for by our Approvals app.