Micro design sprint - update

Hey kids! Define your audience and make sure you have all the stakeholder business needs before you start sprintin'!
March 13, 2017

(Read my previous post on the micro design sprint 'plan')

So, Friday was hard. Specifically Friday morning.

I thought the challenge was simple enough: we need a better on boarding process for new user DJs. But forgot to factor in a few points:

Our audience is hard...

...to define. On the face of it, the two groups (listeners and DJs) in our audience aren’t as clearly segregated as one might think. We have two logins: one for DJ users and one for listeners. However, a DJ can listen and a listener could also be a DJ at some point in their Evermix life cycle. Chuck in the different level of engagement each audience may have and, in some instances, wildly differing use cases and we have a very muddy picture to go into a days sprint with. We ended up defining our audience slightly differently to how you usually do on a day to day basis, by lumping them all as one user.

Defining focus wasn't easy 

After running over in the Understand phase (by nearly an hour :/ ) we then found it hard to actually Define what point of the sprint was. We took to the board and drew out user stories and found a confusing mass of spider web journeys and conflicts. This was the low point.

Not all stakeholders were present

I thought it would be fine for the tech team of two in Manchester to carry out this exercise in relative isolation with input from the London management team at intervals. In practice this is fine if we had the whole picture prior to beginning. But, the very nature of a startup is fluid and focuses change rapidly. The sticking point came at the lunchtime catchup with the CEO. By this point we were running over time and we realised the task at hand was larger than originally thought. The conversation went well and the CEO mentioned a few business critical points that needed to be addressed. I can’t help but feel that the morning wouldn’t have been such a headache if we had that conversation earlier.

CEO chats and cookies. The staple diet of our tech team.

After the chat with the CEO, a brisk walk and a save-the-day burrito, we took the executive decision to start again. Always hard. REMOVE ALL THA POST-ITS.


We decided to go back to beginning and concentrate solely on the DJs journey and how that can be improved rather than conflating and confusing the journey with a listener user needs. Whilst this also needs improving, the DJ user is priority at this stage. A separate design sprint will have to be done.

We went straight back to the beginning with identifying DJ needs at the point of entry and nailing what a successful on-boarding process would look like for them. We quickly moved on through the user journey and rattled through crazy eights and ideas. All with a clearer understanding.


It’s not perfect. We’re currently looking at a total design sprint of 2.5 - 3 days rather than 2 days, but we’re getting somewhere and we feel in a better place.

Stay tuned for more mistakes!

(Read my previous post on the micro design sprint 'plan')