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AppInventiv was handpicked by Google to attend the Design Sprint Workshop in New Delhi on September 15th, 2017. Google trained us to assess and incorporate user experience feedback in app design and development in the full-day workshop. Through the Design Sprint workshops, Google aims to mentor potential leaders in app development industry, to combine their Design Thinking and Agile framework to create more risk-free products for clients- products that have been designed, prototyped, tested and revised at every stage to ensure success at launch time.
From amongst upcoming app developers in the nation, Google identified AppInventiv to be its training partner. We are honoured to be given the privilege and look forward to a stronger collaboration and working opportunities with Google.
The Google team discussed at length the processes and design tools that we currently deploy for development. They encouraged us to express the challenges we face with Material Design. Thereafter, we were told how the Design Sprint workshop would benefit us.
Design Sprint is not news for us; AppInventiv has been routinely deploying the methodology to generate cutting-edge apps. But for the uninitiated, Design Sprints enable app developers to quickly ideate, prototype and validate a new design idea.
In a few hours, Google was able to give actionable insights about how users interact with an app from start to finish and how the user experience can be enhanced using Sprints. Let us walk you through the Design Sprint workshop and give a glimpse of the valuable knowledge we gained.
A basic Design sprint is made up of 5 stages- Understand, Sketch, Decide, Prototype and Validate. The framework supports divergent and divergent thinking.
Design is not an individual sport. to that end, we leverage the sprints to include all points of view, and align around a new solution. AppInventiv’s team included Prateek (the Leader), Shivam (the Problem Solver) and Shrikant (the Techie Wizard). To get a 360 degree view of the challenge, the teams should evaluate all angles- feasibility, desirability and profitability- of each solution.
The first stage was the Icebreaker for acquainting the team members. Team members were given a minute to sketch a superhero they related to. They were told to imagine a superpower that they bring to the team.
Our challenge for the Sprint was to design an app to help connect professionals to qualified mentors, with concepts to be implemented in the next two quarters. The deliverable was to generate a broad range of ideas in a sketch form.
Team introductions were followed by inspirational lightning talks where the challenge was discussed and existing solutions were rehashed. The trainers encouraged us to keep focus on the goat at hand and devise solutions that work. This type of enlightenment is critical for a successful Sprint.
In this stage, team members wrote down their How Might We’s. We had to identify the right opportunities (how); the solutions (might); and the method to reach the solution (we). We applied UX processes such as user interviews, customer journey mapping to discover user personas, needs and motivations. We were told to be succinct; write one idea per note; and not write too broad or too narrow HMWs.
One of the other team member become the user for us and we interviewed them to understand the challenges and HMW.
Geared with our new knowledge about our users, we converged as a team and put together our individual HMWs. We created an affinity Map by grouping them into different categories. Members voted for their 3 favorites using a Dot.
By now, our challenge was quite clear and our mind was bubbling with solutions. Then, our mentor told that each individual had to sketch 8 good UI solutions in a time limit.
Next, we shared our Crazy 8’s with each other and explained why our screen was the perfect solution for the problem. We again used dot voting and decided the clear favorites. As a team, we had been able to decide a prototype most of us thought would do the task.
Prototyping and Validating
These two stages were given a quick walk-through as we were dealing with a hypothetical challenge.
Product Vision Process
Google explained the product vision process followed in their Innovation department. They create two teams- Team 1 works on short-term vision and Team 2 works on long-term vision. the teams work in conjunction and keep aligning their goals to facilitate mutual satisfaction.
Facilitation Mindset to develop Design Thinking in Teams
The trainers talked about doable measures that a Sprint master can use for developing Design Thinking mindset among team members. They were of the view that if all members are on the same wavelength, they could produce better results in lesser time.
Some ways in which a Sprint Master can develop the Facilitation Mindset are:
1. Develop helicopter thinking
2. Stay neutral on the content; focus on the process
3. Watch the group as a whole
4. Detect gap opportunities and insight
5. Expect the unexpected
6. Encourage questioning
7. Respond, not react to negative situations
8. Crowd source and create leaders around you
A discussion on the challenges faced in onboarding new users to an app
We had a productive discussion on the challenges vendors face with onboarding new users in the apps. The trainers talked about the common mistakes that app makers commit that reduces engagement and retention rates among new users drastically. Only 30% times app onboarding is successful and 70% times, users abandon the app as the onboarding process is either too difficult or has a sharp learning curve.
We got actionable suggestions that we plan to incorporate in all our future offerings. Here is a synopsis of our discussion:
A- Onboarding an App- The first Step that determines an app’s success or failure
B- Getting Permission- A crucial step that establishes dialogue between app and users
C- Ongoing Education– Deliver value to users
Key Takeaways from the Google Sprint
AppInventiv plans to combine the UX insights in Google with our time-tested Agile framework to create lean products that will have unbeatable edge over competing products. This will prove a boon for our startup clients by guaranteeing maximum bang for their buck!
We always strives to bring products that deliver value from the first instance itself. Design Sprint methodology sharpens our swords to deliver cutting-edge apps that will create disruption. Watch this space for more accolades and achievements.