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Transforming the GV 5 day design sprint into a product discovery ultra marathon

David Udvardy

Presenting with beautifully unusual hand drawn slides, David Udvardy of Skyscanner took one step back from the design sprint to investigate where it had came from, before explaining the sprint, and how their team had amended this to be more allowing for extra iteration and research.

First of all, some theory. I’m not sure if the audience expected the theory that Udvardy provided, but it was an unusual take on design thinking and the path from it to Google Ventures (GV). “Does anyone actually know what Design Thinking means? Me neither.” Interestingly, he traced design thinking through the rise of the CDO to VC funding of UX related tech and finally GV as a means of getting to UX rather than through ‘the failure of design thinking’.

Stepping through GV showed one thing – it’s a pretty intense 5 days. Carrying through the spirit of collaborating and prototyping, it includes a number of activities designed to ascertain a product’s business savvy and ways to iterate, ranging from the Crazy 8 technique (not quite as crazy as it sounds – draw 8 ideas … then do another set of 8 new ideas or iterating on the current 8, and so on) and voting techniques as discussed the following day by Deci.

The Skyscanner team did it as an exercise to try and get new ideas in – and while it was interesting, in the end they decided to both allow it to run for longer, and add in extra elements. They in particular found that there was too much pressure to prototype at speed, rather than for a decent testable product, and so decided to allow substantially more time for this. They also built in time for actual user research rather than just stabs at what might one day be user research.

His slides are available on Slideshare