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Dec. 18, 2020

Unlock: What we learned from our 2 day design sprint - reflection

3 minute read

As part of our mini design sprint, we had a retro to help us think about what went well and what could be improved if we did decide to do another two day sprint. We came away with a lot of positives.

What went well

When we set out to complete a design sprint in two days, we spent a lot of time planning out the activities we thought were manageable in the time we had. As a result, we ended up with a well-rounded sprint with realistic goals.

Recruitment and user research sessions

We recruited and successfully interviewed four representative participants who use the Unlock websites, which is brilliant for such a short lead time. We also got all the consent forms back from participants before the sessions. Recruitment tends to be a time-consuming part of the research process so this is pretty amazing.

When we conducted our user research sessions, the users were all really engaged in the process and talked a lot about their struggles finding the right information. They were also very trusting of the Unlock brand which was great to hear. It gave us a lot of useful insights to inform our design decisions.

Cross-over of disciplines within the team

Because of the nature of such fast-paced work, we all got a chance to pitch in with each other's roles. This was not only a great experience but also gave us all some invaluable insight into what we each do day to day and how we work. We did some pair writing, each took a turn conducting a research session, and collaborated well throughout the whole process.

As a result of working together so closely and getting to try out each other’s roles, we had a great sense of community within our team, and we managed to keep spirits high even with a high workload and a potentially heavy subject.

Creating our resources

We spent our sprint planning day creating resources to give to the client so they could carry on after we’d finished our work. Since we knew this was going to be a really short process for us, we wanted to give Unlock some useful documents so they could keep doing this work without us and getting great, valuable insights.

Miro board screenshot

Image: Screenshot of Miro sprint board

What could’ve gone better

As with any new way of trying things, there were a few things we think could’ve been better. While overall the sprint was a success, there were a couple of issues.

Amount of time for research sessions

We gave ourselves an hour with each participant and in that time we gathered some really interesting and useful insights. One of the things we didn’t quite get right was the length of time spent with each participant. We had two original pages and two new pages to test and we ran out of time with some participants to test both pages, so only got feedback on one set.

Ordering of pages in research sessions

When we decided what to test, we chose the ordering based on what we’d had the most time to sort out, and put the page first that got more hits on the website. In hindsight after speaking to users, it might have been better to change the order and put the second page first, as this is a more logical order to present the information.

Things we could improve

When we had our retro, we discussed a few things that we could definitely improve next time we run a two day sprint.

Testing with a wide range of users

We concluded that since all of our participants were quite high on the digital ability scale, next time we would recruit a range of users with differing digital capabilities, rather than recruiting via a survey alone which can automatically exclude some users. It also would’ve been good to talk to users at different stages of the process; users who are going through a court process and users who’ve just been charged.

More functional prototypes

We also discussed how the sessions could have been more realistic by using functional prototypes that users could move around in opposed to flat visuals. Having to ask users when they’d scroll tainted the test slightly as it was less natural than being able to watch them move around at will.

What we thought overall

We felt that the design sprint was overall a success, and we managed to gain many useful insights and also create some great templates and documents to hand over to Unlock to help them on their journey.

It was an amazing experience with a great client who were a pleasure to work with, and followed us on our journey through this sprint enthusiastically. We also received some amazing feedback from participants, who felt they were treated with dignity and respect, which is lovely to hear. This was a unique experience for us all, and one we have learned so much from.

Want to read more about the charity, Unlock? Click the link here

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