A Sprint Story Chapter Four: Design, Divide, Conquer, F#% It Up and Fix It
by Brad Soroka. First appeared on Digital Telepathy Blog.
With our storyboard in hand, we work as a team to build a medium-fidelity prototype to help gather reliable data. The key here is “Goldilocks fidelity”, a prototype that feels just real enough to test and get the answers we need. Behind the scenes, our testing leaders will be writing the interview script, confirming the schedule, and communicating with the participants.
Divide and conquer! And a merger of roles. The typical breakdown of a Design Sprint prototyping team is recommended as:
- Maker (Designer)
- Stitcher (Prototyper)
- Asset Collector (Icons/Artwork/Photos)
- Writer (Prototype Content)
We found it smoother to work in teams of two, so our breakdown was:
- Content Writers
- Testing Team
- Marco (the visionary and music DJ 🙂 )
The tools of choice:
- Sketch (our daily design tool)
- An iOS UI Kit (for rapid building of screens)
- Smashicons (for quick assets and icons)
- InVision (for stitching together the prototype)
- Google Docs (for writing content)
- Usertesting.com (for remote testing)
It’s recommended to use something simple like Keynote, but the design team at DT and Roche is so well-versed in Sketch and InVision that putting together a workable prototype took no time. The workflow was so fast that design outpaced content writing. How did this happen? Well, we lost an hour of time in much-needed deliberation the day before. That extra hour would have made all the difference, as we left our storyboard at a fidelity good enough to build a flow from but too vague to build out concrete Goldilocks fidelity content. The clock continued to tick and the Time Timer was in full effect.
We powered through it and worked as a solid team to iterate, adding and removing screens that didn’t make sense and formulating a really solid story. By mid-afternoon the prototype was done and ready for testing. Or so we thought.
When we reviewed the prototype with the testing team, we noticed inconsistencies between the tasks written and the screens designed. This is because the testing team was writing based off of the original whiteboard storyboard. But as that storyboard was fleshed out the tasks weren’t updated. If this were moderated onsite testing, it would have been a non-issue. During onsite testing, the interviewer needs to be familiar with the prototype, and they have a list of questions that need to get answered. But the flow of getting those answers is very organic. When using a remote unmoderated solution, the questions have to be perfectly inline with the prototype in order to get the right feedback. So the end of the day was a bit frantic, as we had to update the questions to match the flow, get the tasks and prototype into usertesting.com, and send out one sample test that night (to see if we needed to make any last edits before publishing the test to a larger audience). The goal was to have five quality tests completed on Friday.
Sidenote: If you are wondering what the prototype looks like, I’m sorry to say it’s the one thing I can’t share. Roche has been incredibly open to sharing our process for the purpose of educating you, the reader, but the prototype itself contains some promising intellectual property that could very well become a reality. #foreshadowing
In the end, we were only 15 minutes late for an authentic Mexican dinner downtown.
While drinking mezcal, we got great feedback from Roche. Sara (their UX researcher) recommended that in future Design Sprints we should find a way to surface the status of what everyone is working on during prototyping day. Maybe a Trello board? Maybe a whiteboard with Post-Its organized in KanBan style? The solution isn’t obvious yet, but it’s a great area for improvement.
Sara got a notification on her phone that the sample user test was complete! Less than two hours and we had our first piece of feedback. We couldn’t resist the urge to scrub through it, and man did we hit the jackpot. Our first tester spent a solid 30 minutes walking through our prototype and giving some of the most quality feedback I’ve ever heard.
Dinner was done. The table was empty. And everyone went to bed after an intensely productive day. Except for Sara. Before she hit the pillow she published the test so we can get feedback throughout the night and into the morning.
Our target was women age 30–50 with diabetic husbands. Will we have five tests done on Friday? Will we be able to review and synthesize these tests in the same fashion as a traditional moderated test? What if no one replies? Find out what happens tomorrow in our final installment of A Sprint Story.
Originally published at www.dtelepathy.com on May 17, 2017.