Let's build better experiences together. faster.

How? A 4-day collaborative process:

We use a 4 day Design Thinking process invented by Google Ventures (GV) called a Design Sprint to go from any idea to a validated prototype. Hear it from the creator of the process himself.

A drawing of Jake Knapp A picture of Jake Knapp

Process, process, process.
4 days of focused work.

We compress 4 months work into 4 days thanks to the structured activities of the Design Sprint format that foster individual, creative & critical thinking in a group setting.

Better yet, we've adopted the Design Sprint 2.0 so that you bring the big idea & domain expertise, we do the heavy lifting of executing it. Here’s how it works;

the Pre-Sprint:

Before jumping into the Design Sprint we do three things:
  1. We do our secondary research on your business and look at other industries where your business challenge is solved
  2. We interview the key stakeholders taking part in the Design Sprint and learn about what they’re looking to get out of doing a Design Sprint, whether it is product-market fit or alignment of the team.
  3. Scheduling the users for Thursday!

Mapping & solution Sketching:

We start the first half of the day by looking at the long term goal and have a structured discussion to map out the challenges of the product in the customers perspective. Then we procede to set a target around the product that has the most amount of challenges that is going to be solved in this Sprint.

The latter part of the day is about generating solutions, together but alone. Which means the entire team comes up with their own solutions. The Sprint has a step-by-step approach to come up with solutions that relies on our problem solving mind rather than relying on creativity & perfection.

Decision making & storyboarding:

When we have set of solutions that are developed, we speed critique the solutions and each member in the team will get to vote on solutions that they think will answer the challenges of this Sprint the best. Once the team has voted, the decision maker in the Sprint will pick the best solution from the set.

The day will end with everyone coming together to create step-by-step storyboard that will help build a realistic prototype.

Prototyping:

With all the frontend work done, the Very Bad Wizards will move into making an almost realistic prototype that the end customer will use.

The emphasis of prototyping will be on customers’ journey from discovering, learning, using, and getting to their goal. It will be less about the technical details of whether it is possible to build/code.

User testing:

We came together in the Sprint with assumptions about our customers problems, now it’s about confirming those problems and testing whether the prototyped solution meets their needs.

The user tests will be qualitative, which means that it’ll be 5 one-on-one in-depth interviews to learn about the customers, and then test the solution in a structured manner. We’re looking for patterns across users to find out what’s working, what’s not working & what challenges we’ve uncovered, so that we can improve on the solution.

Iterate:

Imagine throwing a dart in the dark room. In the first user test of the Design Sprint a light in the room comes on and you notice where the target is.

We iterate on the process again, where Monday is a workshop day to go over the findings/new challenges together and come up with solutions. Tuesday & Wednesday are to update the prototype, and Thursday as usual is the user testing day.

Doing this a second time allows us to hit the target and gain delightful feedback from the customers!

the Pre-Sprint:

Before jumping into the Design Sprint we do three things:
  1. We do our secondary research on your business and look at other industries where your business challenge is solved
  2. We interview the key stakeholders taking part in the Design Sprint and learn about what they’re looking to get out of doing a Design Sprint, whether it is product-market fit or alignment of the team.
  3. Scheduling the users for Thursday!

Monday: Mapping & solution Sketching

We start the first half of the day by looking at the long term goal and have a structured discussion to map out the challenges of the product in the customers perspective. Then we procede to set a target around the product that has the most amount of challenges that is going to be solved in this Sprint.

The latter part of the day is about generating solutions, together but alone. Which means the entire team comes up with their own solutions. The Sprint has a step-by-step approach to come up with solutions that relies on our problem solving mind rather than relying on creativity & perfection.

Tuesday: Decision making & storyboarding

When we have set of solutions that are developed, we speed critique the solutions and each member in the team will get to vote on solutions that they think will answer the challenges of this Sprint the best. Once the team has voted, the decision maker in the Sprint will pick the best solution from the set.

The day will end with everyone coming together to create step-by-step storyboard that will help build a realistic prototype.

Wednesday: Prototyping

With all the frontend work done, the Very Bad Wizards will move into making an almost realistic prototype that the end customer will use.

The emphasis of prototyping will be on customers’ journey from discovering, learning, using, and getting to their goal. It will be less about the technical details of whether it is possible to build/code.

Thursday: User Testing

We came together in the Sprint with assumptions about our customers problems, now it’s about confirming those problems and testing whether the prototyped solution meets their needs.

The user tests will be qualitative, which means that it’ll be 5 one-on-one in-depth interviews to learn about the customers and then test the solution in a structured manner. We’re looking for patterns across users to find out what’s working, what’s not working & what challenges we’ve uncovered, so that we can improve on the solution.

Iterate:

Imagine throwing a dart in the dark room. In the first user test of the Design Sprint a light in the room comes on and you notice where the target is.

We iterate on the process again, where Monday is a workshop day to go over the findings/new challenges together and come up with solutions. Tuesday & Wednesday are to update the prototype, and Thursday as usual is the user testing day.

Doing this a second time allows us to hit the target and gain delightful feedback from the customers!

What took us months of endless meeting after meeting, we accomplished & aligned on during the first 2 hours of the Sprint

- Nayanake, Product Designer Healthnet

Get the whole team aligned without the endless meetings.

Drawing showing an executives frustration when the team is unaligned on the problem they're solving

For Founders & Executives

Drawing showing an executives frustration when the team is unaligned on the problem they're solving

Articulate, share & align the big picture for the project in a few short hours with the whole team.

We've also adopted the Design Sprint so that you can come in for an hour and help make the critical decisions and get back to your work!

We'll keep you updated with regular check-ins through-out the Sprint. A Basecamp update from the Very Bad Wizards on Day 1

For Managers & Leads

Drawing showing the managers frustration in decision making

The Design Sprint is the prefect antidote for the age old headache of "middle management" by putting the decision makers and individual contributors in one room with a structured format for clear decision making.

You also get to take a birdseye view of the project, set the scope and jump into the details when necessary. Thanks to the focus & clarity forced by the Design Sprint.

Drawing showing the managers frustration in decision making
Drawing showing individual contributor questioning if they're taking the best direction

For Individual Contributors

Drawing showing individual contributor questioning if they're taking the best direction

The decentralized decision making structure of the Design Sprint ensures that your opinions are heard and weighted for all the big decisions made. No matter if you're a Marketing Executive, Sales Associate, Customer Service Agent, UX Designer or Programmer.

By defining what the end of the project looks like, after the Sprint, you walk away with a tangible concept that leaves no room for misinterpretation by the management or other teams.

Take a look at our 3 areas of service, using design sprints as a core to help you with your next big idea.

Figure out the magic of your experience... then scale.

A stick figure frustrated with the old heinz bottle vs delighted by the new heinz bottle

Trying to scale a product or service experience without any magic is like the proverbial "cart before the horse", no amount of marketing, advertising or "growth hacking" will suffice for an experience that does not engage the user in a meaningful and delightful way to keep them coming back.

How our approach is better:
A Design Sprints primary goal is to figure out this magic, or what's know in startup lingo as Product-Market fit.

A stick figure frustrated with the old heinz bottle vs delighted by the new heinz bottle Old Heinz bottle built for task completion vs new Heinz bottle built to delight

years of experience in product development into one insightful 45 minute free innovation webinar combining the best hits of business strategy and execution.

Watch it now!

years of experience in product development into one insightful 45 minute free innovation webinar combining the best hits of business strategy and execution.

Watch it now!

Get direct customer feedback to make decisions on.

Image showing the feedback loop when building. You first gain ideas, then make ideas tangible, get feedback and validate your assumptions. Image of a Remote User Test and Physical User Test

Most companies are stuck trying to make decisions waiting on perfect data.

Alternatively, you can use public or paid for market research, which at it's best is somewhat aligned with your agenda and at its worst is grossly misleading and poorly representative.

The other option is to make big, risky assumptions about your customers.

How our approach is better:
The Sprint is designed to identify and answer the big, risky assumptions about the customer and the problem we're solving by putting a tangible solution in front of real customers to get direct data.

Image showing the feedback loop when building. You first gain ideas, then make ideas tangible, get feedback and validate your assumptions.
Image of a Remote User Test Image of a User Test Happening Images of our User Testing Setup/Room Images of a User Test Happening

Save tons of time and money in the long run...

Graph dictating that the normal workflow takes 7x longer than a Design Sprint for a normal workflow Time required to produce comparable output. Shorter is less time.
Graph dictating that running a Design Sprint saves you 2x the money that'll otherwise be spent getting a comparable result Budget required to produce the same level of work. Shorter is cheaper.

The traditional approach of planning everything perfectly, waiting on perfect data and launching only when 100% ready has proven time over time to be grossly inefficient and overrated.

How our approach is better:
The principles the Design Sprint draws from and are actively practiced by the top companies around the world, from Facebook's, fail fast & fail cheap ideology, to Amazon's day 1 mentality and 1000 experiments a week approach.

By failing early and learning fast, most projects utilizing sprints have shown significant savings in time & money in the long-run.

Not convinced? Check the data

Common Questions

A research conducted by Berlin based design agency AJ&Smart shows that running a Design Sprint resulted in 7x time savings over doing work the normal way. Which means you’ll save 7x the time if you wanted to achieve a comparable result.

It also shows that Running a Design Sprint saved 2x the budget of what would’ve been required otherwise.

Learn more about Saving Time & Money with a Design Sprint here

Yes!

Our Design Sprint Package is a minimum of 4 weeks split up into Pre Flight Week, the first Design Sprint, the Iteration Sprint and the final week for handoff.

The outcomes of the Sprint will be:

  • Pre-flight Sprint Research
  • 2 x Weeks of Design Sprint 2.0
  • 2 x Interactive Prototypes
  • Targeted User Validation
  • User Test Video Highlights
  • A Ready to Share Executive Summary
  • Developer Ready Working Files (The prototype will be shared in a production ready format so development can commence immediately)

It’s a deeply collaborative process, you can learn more about it in our how we work page.

If we don’t achieve validation with the intended market after the iteration week, we’ll run the process again for another week on us.

If you’re still unhappy we’ll refund you 50% of the investment you make, no questions asked.

A prototype in a Design Sprint is a mock up of the actual end experience that your customers will go through when it’s finally launched. We get to the future faster with prototyping tools. No coding/development.

Yes! With the Executive Summary at the end of the Sprint and the User Test Highlight Reel, you can show your product roadmap and actual feedback of your untapped customers dying to try out your product when it’s launched!

A list of our services and pricing is available here

Ready to Sprint? Reach out:

You will hear from us within 24 hours (Mon-Fri)