A brainstorming exercise to consider the possible results of a particular decision, event, or trend.
“We can produce better long-term solutions by improving our ability to spot unintended consequences before it’s too late. What we need is a framework to imagine and assess a range of future scenarios.”
If you’re like me, a typical day consists of a million tiny decisions that you’ve gotten really good at answering. “What should I eat for breakfast?” or “What Netflix show should I binge next?” But occasionally, there are some decisions that require more thought, either because they’re too complicated or just really…
“You are responsible for what you put into the world. And you are responsible for the effects those things have upon the world.”
― Victor Papanek
Design sprints have fundamentally transformed the way we solve problems. There is no doubt that future products will be more useful because of what Jake Knapp has provided, but there is a crucial piece missing from the conversation. We need to be asking “What could go wrong?” with each solution we consider. The tech world is plagued by addiction and abuse, in part because designers didn’t consider the unintended consequences.
So how do we…
“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.”
-Margaret J. Wheatley
20 years ago, the tech scene was, as John Maeda described it, “Undefined, aimless, driven by tech geeks who knew very little about design.” Guided by the mantra of “move fast and break things”, this era was defined by endless optimization resulting in products focused solely on increasing engagement and improving the bottom line. The well-being of end users was often the first to be sacrificed in these situations.
Looking at the landscape now, the effects seem obvious. From…
At The Zebra, we’re constantly running design sprints to solve our biggest problems. We’ve run roughly 15 in the past year and learn something new each time. (Here’s a look inside our process.) But one of the challenges we have now is running too many design sprints, often unnecessarily. To address the issue, I first sought to determine the cost of each sprint and then collaborate with the stakeholders on how to improve the efficiency of our process.
For these numbers, I used the standard 5-day design sprint process as prescribed by Jake Knapp. …
As the nation’s most comprehensive comparison website for car insurance quotes, The Zebra faces a lot of competition. So it’s critical that our product design and user experience set us apart from the crowd, even when we can’t be in the same office.
That’s why design sprints are a top priority for all the product stakeholders. We use sprints to design new features, fix existing problems, and improve weak spots in our experience. Unfortunately, with our team working remotely, the process can be tricky. We’ve made a series of tweaks in order to address these issues and improve our results.
VP of Design at The Zebra