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Private Design Sprint Day Two

Day two of our design sprint was a slightly calmer affair. One member had left us since they couldn’t stay the whole week, so we were down to three on the sprint team. I’d also come down with a head cold that was making me move and talk slower; probably a good thing for everyone else, but not very pleasant for me. We spent the morning doing lightning demos, and then the afternoon sketching interface designs, “working alone together” as they say in the sprint book. I got my interface sketch done fairly quickly and decided to move on to sorting out the screening survey and putting up an ad on Craigslist and Indeed to recruit testers for Friday. I’ve woken up this morning to see that four people have applied so far, and probably there’s only one that meets our testing criteria.

It occurs to me that recruiting people who have an hour free during the middle of a work day on Friday creates its own bias, in that one is unlikely to get lots of people who are in full time employment. Challenging if you’re looking to test that demographic. That’s not particularly the demographic we are looking for in this design sprint, but it seems inevitable that there’s some degree of skew there. Maybe I’ll have to supplement this week by distributing the ad through some of my personal networks.

It’s difficult to judge day two of the sprint, as we haven’t seen each other’s sketches yet; we’ll have to see whether three is too small a team. Certainly we had no shortage of lightning demos, and there was lots to learn from looking through all the different sites that the team members suggested. Today we’ll be reviewing those sketch ideas and coming up with a storyboard for the prototype that we need to build on Thursday. I wonder if I got into problem solving mode too early on day one, as my sketch is not wildly dissimilar from some of the components I was sketching on the map on Monday. I guess rather than interface elements it would have been better to map interactions, drawing the person interacting with the computer, or talking to another person. We’ll see.

Also, we’re changing location after today. For logistical reasons we’re in one location Mon/Tues/Wed and then a different location Thu/Fri. I’m quite pleased as Thu/Fri I’ll be closer to home, and I’m not particularly enjoying my current hotel-bound cold. The cold is also making it difficult for me to focus on administrative matters that I’m trying to juggle around the design sprint, which pretty much blocks out the sun while it is running. The nice thing about having a physical space and these table top flip charts is you can draw out large diagrams and then take them off and stick them on the wall, so we have the different sketches from our lightning demos etc. covering the walls of the room that we’re working in. Perhaps ideally we’d still have these up on Thursday as we work on our prototype, but it doesn’t seem completely critical.

Doing the AV design sprint online I thought it was quite important to have multiple monitors so that each participant could put up the different digital documents in multiple locations and use one’s physical space management skills, but so many people don’t seem to have a second or third monitor … anyway, fascinating to contrast the online and in-person sprint. There’s certainly an aspect of this that feels very marketing orientated, but I guess for any organisation to be successful it has to have the right communication …

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