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00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:02,510 JAKE KNAPP: Thank you guys for coming to our talk.
I know there's a lot of other amazing talks going
on at this moment right now at I/O. We almost
didn't come to this talk because there's so many good ones.
So super appreciate it.
We're going to talk to you guys today about design sprints.
And you actually totally scored by coming to this talk
because it's not just one talk, but two, two in one.
And first we're going to talk about design sprints
at Google Ventures with startups,
and then we're going to hear about designs
sprints at big Google.
So first of all Daniel and I are going
to talk to you about what we do at Google Ventures.
So Daniel and I are design partners at Google Ventures.
And we're going to tell you how to prototype and test
pretty much any product in just five days.
So Daniel take it away.
DANIEL BURKA: Well, before I even
get started I want to talk to you guys
about a problem I've got.
Unfortunately it's a really big problem.
In fact, it's a Super Mario scale problem,
a really big Super Mario scale problem.
I love Mario.
I have since it first came out.
And so you can imagine, this is going to date me a little bit,
but I was super excited when they announced the DS
and announced that they were making the new Super Mario
Brothers where you could become giant Mario.
And so at the time I was living in eastern Canada,
way off on the edge of the continent,
in a little place called Prince Edward Island where I grew up.
And I didn't have a whole lot of disposable income at the time,
but it was just after Christmas, and I
had gotten some cash gifts from some family.
And I was thinking, aw, you know,
I could totally get one of those things,
and it would be awesome.
I already had a little sneaking suspicion
that I had maybe a bit of an addiction problem with Mario,
but I decided, you know what?
Screw it.
I'm going to go get one anyway.
And so I drove up to this place called
the Future Shop in Charlotte Town.
I swear to God it's called the Future Shop.
It's like Best Buy.
And it was no less inviting in January
then as this photo, which I grabbed off Google Maps,
is now.
This is the actual shop, a real photo of it.
And so I went in there, and I threw down my hard earned
And it was awesome.
It was just everything I imagined it would be.
So I played it.
And I played it a lot.
I played it every single day for about three months straight.
I beat every single level.
And then I beat every single level plus the secret levels,
then every single level plus the secret levels
with all the coins on every level.
And then on the DS you could have three different lives
per game.
And so I beat it once.
I beat it again.
And then I beat it again even faster.
And it was at the end of March.
And I was just about to reset the device so I could do it
three more times, and I was like, oh, fuck this.
And I put in a box, and I mailed it off my sister
in Los Angeles.
And I never saw the damn thin again.
But unfortunately I was out about $170
that I didn't really have to burn
and three months of my life.
I swear to God, I played hours of this game.
JAKE KNAPP: Well, to throw into sharp contrast what an idiot
Daniel is I want to tell you a story of my own.
And this also involves Nintendo.
This is from a simpler time.
So if you remember when Nintendo looked like this.
Raise your hand if you remember.
Oh, OK.
All right, great.
I'm glad that some of you are also old.
JAKE KNAPP: So my story takes place in the year 1986.
And it's actually a story about my wife
who was nine years old in 1986.
As was I, although I didn't know her at the time.
And like all nine year olds in the United States in 1986,
I don't know about Canada, but everyone wanted a Nintendo.
And this is what the Nintendo looked like.
It was a big box.
And everybody was so excited about it.
But it costs a lot of money.
So it cost $199, which if you adjust that for inflation it's
over $400.
It's a lot of money at any time if your nine years old.
Actually, Daniel, I don't know for you Canadians.
Hopefully this will help.
00:03:45,304 --> 00:03:47,470 DANIEL BURKA: I have to deal with this all the time.
JAKE KNAPP: This is actually how much
maple syrup you can buy for $200 in case you guys were curious.
And leaders is spelled the Canadian way.
Craftsmanship here.
So anyway, my wife is very industrious.
And she scrimped and saved.
She did chores around the neighborhood,
and she saved up her allowance.
And finally, finally she had $200.
She was ready to make the purchase.
And then right at the last minute she got cold feet.
She was like, oh my gosh, I saved up all this money,
I don't know if I should do this, I'm only nine years old.
I don't know if she thought that, but she wasn't sure.
And so she made this really unusual arrangement that for $4
she would rent a Nintendo from her neighbor.
And she'd have it all day Saturday, all day Sunday.
She could play it as much as she wanted, all the games, you
know, the laser gun, everything.
And I think that what my wife envisioned
was something like this.
So this is a photo from Nintendo on the box at the time.
And this is kind of like captures
the scene of excitement that everyone had about Nintendo.
If you look closely at these brothers
you'll notice that they don't even
seem to notice Super Mario Brothers is actually
a one player game.
But that's what it was like.
I mean, it was so great.
And so she pictured this, and she
pictured the family gathered, and everybody,
you know, watching her play.
And the reality was more like this.
And this is not a photo.
This is an artist's interpretation
that my wife was really excited about when she saw it.
But this is what it was like.
She's up till 3:00, 4:00 AM, you know, eyes bloodshot,
barely sleeping, playing Nintendo the entire time.
And by the end of the weekend when she gave the Nintendo back
she realized I cannot handle owning a Nintendo.
And she came to this realization after just $4
and 48 hours of her time.
This idea of renting before you buy we think also
applies to product development.
And that's the essence of what we're
going to talk to you about today.
DANIEL BURKA: So the way that we typically
see design and development done at startups
is that you come up with an idea, a hypothesis,
something that might be really great for your product.
And then you build the lightest weight version of it
that you can, you know a simple V1.
You really boil it down.
Launch it into the wild, measure the results,
learn from those results, and then iterate around the circle.
Also from our experience this is actually not a great way
to operate as a startup.
And what really happens in the real world is
you frequently are starting with a bad idea.
And that's fine.
I mean, that's the whole point of a hypothesis
is something you're not sure of that you want to test.
But then you spend a lot of time actually building out
that idea, and this invariably takes
much longer than you think it will.
You've now invested the time, and so you
feel like there's no going back.
Aw, we better launch this thing and see what happens.
And where you're expecting to have really nice statistics
and learn whether or not something works,
it's usually much muddier than you hope it will be.
And what's that quote?
There's lies, damn lies, and statistics.
And then when you're supposed to be iterating again,
you actually just move on to the next shiny idea.
And your products out in the while.
And it's gumming up the works.
You've got all this code now in your code base
that you no longer want.
It's really hard to go back at that point.
So we're trying to do at Google Ventures
is we're trying to shortcut that process.
Over the course of a week we ideate and flesh out an idea,
we prototype it, and then we test it.
And we call that a five day design sprint.
JAKE KNAPP: I want to tell you just a super fast bit more
about Google Ventures in case you're not familiar with it.
You probably have heard of Google.
If you haven't, you should totally check it out.
It's a create search engine.
But Google Ventures is actually a small, separate company.
So about 50, 60 employees.
And basically what happens is Google gives us money,
and we in turn invest it in startups.
So we've invested in 250 startups so far.
And as design partners Daniel, and I,
and the other three design partners on the team,
it's our job to help those companies make the best
products possible so they'll be successful.
And we've done this with countless different companies.
But the story that I want to tell you about today
is actually about a coffee company.
So Blue Bottle Coffee.
I'm not sure how many of you have heard about it.
So actually a coffee company, not just
a clever name for a startup.
But if you're not familiar, they have a number of shops
here in San Francisco, a bunch in New York City.
And if you were to go to the ferry building, which is not
far from here-- If you're from out of town
you should totally check it out.
There's a bunch of shops inside the ferry building for tourists
and commuters, and there's one in particular
that always has a long line kind of going down the hallway.
And it's not the store that sells only mushrooms.
It's actually Blue Bottle Coffee.
And here's the line.
And in fact, if you look closely at that line
you might recognize a familiar sort
of praying mantis style figure.
DANIEL BURKA: A praying mantis who
only apparently owns one shirt.
JAKE KNAPP: That's my favorite shirt.
DANIEL BURKA: It looks good.
JAKE KNAPP: As I was saying before I was so rudely
interrupted, it's a fantastic cafe.
And they have this beautiful interior design
some wonderfully friendly, knowledgeable baristas,
and great coffee.
Their shops are very successful.
It's a successful business.
But they have a problem.
it's with their web store.
They felt like it could be a bigger part of their business,
and it wasn't living up to what they wanted.
So after we invested in them they came to our design team
and said, could you help us out with this.
So we decided to do a design sprint.
And the first thing we do in a design sprint
is to manufacture a deadline.
One reason why people like to ship early and ship often
is because shipping creates a deadline.
It helps us get things done.
I don't know about you guys, but I'm
kind of a natural procrastinator.
And the deadline that we create in our sprints
is also external facing, but we do it with user studies.
So on Monday, the first day of the sprint,
we'll schedule five customers outside to come in
and interview.
And they're going to look at a prototype
that we haven't designed yet.
So right away we're like, oh my gosh, the fuse is lit.
Like we have to get something done.
Another key for us on the first day
is getting all the right people in the room for the sprint.
And there are more right people at most companies
than you'd think.
It makes sense to have the people who
are going to be working on the product,
and building it, and designing it.
But we've also found it's critical to have
the founder, the decision makers, the people who really
understand on the ground how the product works,
and how customers are interacting with it.
We all need to work together, because in this case
understanding how you sell coffee beans online,
it's actually not straightforward.
I didn't know how to do it heading into the sprint.
And so another thing that we do on day one
is to look at things out in the world
and see if we can find interesting patterns.
So we look at a bunch of successful coffee websites,
and we saw this pattern right away
that coffee is organized quite commonly by region.
So you can see it here.
Latin America, Africa.
Here it is again, Africa, the Americas.
Again here.
This is the menu at Starbucks.
Starbucks obviously knows a thing or two about marketing.
You can see Guatemalan coffee, Colombian.
And actually would you guys raise your hand
if you know the difference between Guatemala
and Colombian coffee.
Does anyone here know the difference?
So a couple of you do know, which is awesome.
But the rest of you should not feel bad
because as it turns out normal humans don't get this.
I mean, most of the people in this room didn't understand.
DANIEL BURKA: Heck, we even had a guy came in
for one of the user studies who told us
that he roasted his own beans at home.
So he's buying green beans, he's roasting them himself,
and then brewing his own coffee.
And even he sheepishly admitted when we asked him.
He's like, ah, when I go to a cafe I never
know really what the difference is.
JAKE KNAPP: We're like, dude, like you roast your own beans.
If you don't know nobody knows.
And don't feel bad.
So this is like a big challenge for us.
Like how should we organize the beans
and help people decide what to have shipped to their home
if people don't understand the regions?
We asked Blue Bottle, because they really
wanted to take the in-store experience
and kind of bring it to the web.
And we said, well, like how do you guys do this in the store?
If somebody comes in and they're looking at all
these brown paper bags, and they want to buy some beans,
how do you guide them through that decision?
And they said, oh, well, when somebody
asks for a suggestion we turn around and say, how do you
make your coffee at home, because whether you make it
in a French press, or a Chemex, or a drip machine that's
going to help us recommend a great roast for you.
And I remember when they said that.
I was looking at Daniel and his eyes got big.
And it was as if this beam of inspiration
like shown in from outside.
DANIEL BURKA: Just like that.
JAKE KNAPP: It was just like that.
This is a photograph, so you know
that it's exactly how it happened.
And that kind of insight actually only comes to us
because we have the whole team together.
We have people who understand every part of the product.
And that turns out to be true across all kinds of companies.
So on the second day we've got a bunch of insights from day one.
We want to come up with a bunch of different solutions
to compete with each other.
So we don't just take one idea and run with it off the bat.
And the way we do that is with drawing.
But I want to make sure you understand
we're not doing group brainstorming.
So we found that group brainstorming just
does not yield high quality results.
Instead what we want are individuals spending
a long time, so an hour, two hours, sketching very detailed,
very well thought through, and very
divergent opposing solutions.
By the end of the day we've got 10, 12 different designs that
are all very detailed, and they compete with each other.
They can help us pick from a number of different options.
That choice though is not so easy.
And if any of you know, you may have been in meetings
like this where you're kind of discussing
things, and intellectualizing, and try
to imagine like which solution will
work best in the real world.
And, you know, we want to get some wisdom from everybody,
but we also don't want design by committee.
And the way we kind of hack the decision making process
is something we call weighted voting.
So first we'll give everybody as many
as they want of these little blue stickers.
And you put the stickers by the parts of ideas that you like.
So very quickly we get a heat map
on all these drawings of the parts
of the ideas that work best.
Next, we talk to the company about how they make decisions.
In this case, James the founder, Katie the COO,
they're the ones who really need to make
the call on which prototype we build,
on which design goes forward.
So we give them a number of these very big red dots,
and they have a limited quantity.
In this case they pick three designs.
So first there's this idea of recreating the cafe.
So what if we literally took the interior design of a Blue
Bottle Cafe and made a website that looked that way?
The second idea is storytelling.
Over the last day and a half we've
heard all of this great knowledge and expertise
from talking to the Blue Bottle folks,
and we wonder what happens if we just
write a lot of that stuff on the website.
And then third, there's that idea
of organizing beans by the way you brew your coffee at home.
Problem is we've got like three different ideas,
and we still have to make a prototype, right?
So we decided to do, in this case,
is what we call a Battle Royale.
We're going to pit the three prototypes against each other,
and we're actually going to build all three.
Problem is, it's already Thursday,
and we only have one day, and it seems
like there couldn't possibly be enough time.
DANIEL BURKA: So we're going to build
three prototypes in a single day.
And we're not going to stay up until 4:00 in the morning
to do it.
We've got a few fancy tricks in order to get there.
The first, is that when we were doing the sketching
we were not just sketching individual screens.
We were sketching little three step or four step flows.
So when we unpack the ideas that we want to make,
we're able to lay them out in a storyboard.
And this is, running from the top,
a storyboard of the 15 or 20 screens
that a user will run through.
And we can just translate those right onto the board.
And then, as Jake was saying earlier,
when people were doing the sketching
they weren't BSing it.
They were taking the time to write real copy.
They were putting where the image might be,
where buttons might be, what realistic micro copy there's
going to be.
And so we're able to just take it from low fidelity
and push it up to a much higher fidelity.
And to move to that level of fidelity
we actually choose intelligent tools.
And we're not working in Photoshop generally.
We often work in Keynote for instance.
This is a Keynote mock from the Blue Bottle sprint.
And we find it gives us that Goldilocks level of fidelity.
It's neither so basic that users know
that they're in a prototype, but it's also
not a good enough tool to do production design where we're
spending a lot of time polishing buttons
and making everything look exactly perfect.
We just want it to be good enough to suspend disbelief.
Keynote also has the advantage that many people on the team
can contribute to it.
It's a low barrier to entry design tool.
And then we use things like Keynotopia,
which is a little toolkit that you can buy first
for Keynote to drag and drop form elements into the mocks,
so we're not redoing things from scratch every time.
It helps us move really, really fast.
So in the end we've taken these three different ideas
and stitched together 15 to 20 step
prototypes of each one of them.
We've got this one under the brand Telescope Coffee that
is exploring the storytelling, Lindon Alley Coffee, which
is doing this kind of skeumorphic version
of the store, and Potting Shed Coffee, which
is doing the filtering interface for choosing coffees.
JAKE KNAPP: So it's Friday.
And all week long this fuse has been shortening.
Now the bomb's going to go off.
This is an amazing drawing that I
did in Keynote of an explosion.
But it's time for us to find out which prototype
is going to succeed.
So we're doing the research.
And I want to talk for just one second
about research, because a lot of companies,
both small and large, are reluctant to do user research.
And one big barrier is that people
feel like it's going to be really hard and complicated.
People think, ah, I need to have a behavioral psychologist
on our team to run the interviews,
and we need a special room with like a one way mirror,
and like a laser eye tracker.
And the reality is you really don't need much.
This is our very fancy set up.
It's a laptop.
And on the laptop we're running Keynote full screen.
We've pasted a browser bar on the slide
so it looks like you're running a browser.
And there's a webcam.
And using GoTo Meeting, or Apple TV,
will project into another room so that the rest of the team
can watch while one person from our team
conducts the interview with these customers who
we've recruited.
So we do five one on one interviews.
And each interview we're showing the customers the three
We're showing them the existing Blue Bottle website,
so we get kin d of a baseline.
And what's great about this is we
get really good, really deep data from just those five
We'll hear a lot about why things work and don't work.
We'll get a sense from watching people react about
whether they understand parts of the designs.
So the results of our Battle Royale
are clear at the end of Friday.
And this idea of recreating the cafe totally bombed, which
is disappointing to me personally
because it's the design I worked on.
But it's actually really good news
if you're Blue Bottle, because they didn't
have to build, and launch, and then
wait to get those results from the wild.
And you remember that this was an idea that we really
liked before we tested it.
So it's great.
We dodged a bullet.
And it turns out that both this idea of storytelling
and the idea of sorting by how you brew at home
were very successful.
And that's also kind of cool because both of those ideas
were a bit risky.
Putting a lot of text on a website
isn't what you suspect will normally work.
And nobody else was organizing coffee in that way,
so if they just had one shot at it
they might not have taken those risks.
Now they had the confidence that these ideas worked,
and they went ahead and did the ship early, ship often thing.
And so they designed the full site.
And here's what it looks like in the wild today.
So you can see you organize the coffee by how you brew at home.
And you might recognize this from the sketches.
A lot of that copy is still there.
You see this really long block of text.
And conventional wisdom, don't put a lot of copy on the web.
People aren't going to read it.
Turns out, we know that it builds confidence
that these guys are legit and they
know a lot about the coffee.
They launched this website, and it did quite well.
So they doubled the time spent on site,
and in turn they doubled their sales growth, which is great.
That's exactly what they were hoping
for from this part of their business.
But you may be thinking like this is just a website.
DANIEL BURKA: So we've done these types of sprints
with many different companies.
Part of the reason we chose Blue Bottle
is because it's a pretty simple story to tell,
but it's also a pretty simple app when you look at it.
You know, everybody's designed an e-commerce site before.
We've done lots and lots of mobile prototypes as well.
This is an example from a sprint we
did with a company called Cluster.
So you can see we're using a similar method
to sketch it out, similar ideation.
Here we're designing in Keynote, piecing it altogether,
and then we're dragging it into an app called Flinto, which
is an excellent mobile prototyping tool, which
means that we can get it onto device.
And we've developed two comps here in a single day.
As you can see, they look and feel
a lot like a real mobile app, even though they're just
static images stitched together.
They've got buttons and transitions.
The title bar stays still.
It's good enough to suspend disbelief
so we can get really, really valuable feedback
from the users.
And the second brand, same kind of idea,
all put together in a single day.
And the set up is really similar for user studies too.
Just a document camera over top of the device.
And we have the person actually interacting on a phone.
We've done iPad prototypes.
This is a company called FitStar that does a mobile fitness app.
And here we were actually prototyping--
I'm not sure this is going to go.
We were actually prototyping motion and sound
on this prototype.
And so there's actually video playing,
and we were recording audio during the prototyping phase.
So we were actually prototyping an audio interface
where you're stepped back three or four feet from the iPad,
and it's giving you instructions out loud.
And that was a really interesting study that we did.
See if we can get to the next slide here.
Maybe if I press it harder.
JAKE KNAPP: This is pretty exciting.
I'm going to go try to physically press the button.
DANIEL BURKA: All right.
I don't know.
My technique might be off.
00:21:43,216 --> 00:21:45,631 JAKE KNAPP: Guys just talk amongst yourselves for a moment
I'm sure we'll be ready to go in no time.
Jake's the funny one.
JAKE KNAPP: Yeah, so a skeleton walks into a bar.
And he says--
DANIEL BURKA: Oh here we go Jake.
It's moving.
JAKE KNAPP: I'd like a beer and a mop.
JAKE KNAPP: Thank you.
Thank you for laughing at that joke.
DANIEL BURKA: So you can see a bunch of video and audio
as well.
And then the examples I just gave you,
everything I've shown you thus far has all
been consumer stuff.
And so it's easy to recruit users for consumer things,
because they're similar to us, and there's lots of people
all over the world who fit that demographic.
But we've actually done work with many different startups
in many different areas.
We've recruited people like geneticists and oncologists,
woodworkers, truckers even for one of the studies
that we did, and 80 other companies across a wide variety
of industries, everything from small startups
to big enterprises.
JAKE KNAPP: So we're investing in these companies,
and we want them to be successful.
We think this is an excellent process for them
to use to build confidence quickly.
And if you guys are interested in running a sprint like this,
there's kind of three key ideas that I
think you ought to remember.
One of them is creating time pressure.
It turns out that you can manufacture a deadline
in a lot of ways.
The second is getting into a prototype mindset.
And we try to figure out how to build something high fidelity
as quickly as possible, rather than building something real.
Just creating a veneer of reality.
And finally, getting in this mode of doing quick research,
which really doesn't have to be very complicated.
We hear this phrase a lot around Silicon Valley,
and I don't think it's necessarily like a bad idea,
but we just want to edit it a little bit, because what
everybody really ought to be doing
is learning early and learning often.
And when you do it that way you'll
find that you can really build great products with a lot more
confidence, or as my wife would say, rent before you buy.
If you guys are interested in running sprints
we've written a series of blog posts about how
to run your own sprint, everything
from the kind of pins you should buy to all the way
through to how to run the research.
If you go to gv.com/designsprint you'll find the whole series.
We've heard from a lot of people who never actually talked
to us, and successfully runned sprints using that DIY guide.
And thank you very much.
That is the end of the first talk.
Now, you may have one lingering question about design sprints,
which is like if I work at a big company,
like this is great at the startup,
but how do I make this work?
And I actually created the design sprint process
when I worked at Google.
And I ran a bunch of different sprints
with a bunch of teams across Google.
But I wasn't sure if it could really
stick in a large organization, which Google is.
Nadya Direkova is a staff designer and design evangelist
at Google.
And she's taken the design process, made some hacks to it,
made some hacks to Google's culture,
and been able to do over 80 sprints on some really
awesome products.
I'm very excited to introduce you to Nadya.
And she's going to tell you how it's done at Google.
So without further ado, here's Nadya.
00:24:55,930 --> 00:24:56,870 Thank you, Daniel.
Thank you, Jake.
I'm really excited to be here today.
I've been looking forward to this because very rarely
do we get a chance to talk about how we do design at Google.
And with the design sprints we have
something that's really cool and unique.
Is it cool and unique because design matters for all of us.
And speed matters.
If you're a startup up, you're running out of money
as soon as you raise them.
And if you're a large company you
might have a team and a goal that
is so large that by the time that you meet it
it becomes obsolete.
By combining speed and design we are creating design sprints
to help a number of products advance their goals.
That helps us avoid wasting time, money,
and precious ideas.
It is true what Jake said.
I have done 80 design sprints.
And perhaps I should warn you, it's
an addictive way of working.
Once you start you don't know where you're going to end up.
I have not done these sprints by myself.
In every case there's been a talented team
that worked with me to compile their goals
and to decide how and where they want to end up.
So today I want to share with you some stories about sprint
at Google X, sprints at Google at scale,
and I want to give you five hacks about how
you might be able to do your own sprints.
Let's start with Google X. As you know,
X is the new product laboratory, and we developed things
like the self driving cars.
That was also the first large sprint that I did.
The team came to me, and they said,
we want to create a shared vision of how this product can
be not just an amazing scientific discovery but also
an amazing product for people.
As I started talking to them I realized
that an interesting thing is that by the nature of their job
each of them are focused on different time frames.
Some people are focused on the short term,
and some people are focused on the long term.
In addition, what was going to be
available for the team in terms of technology and capacity
changes over time.
So what's available today, tomorrow, and in four years
from now really expands.
The technology frontier for anyone expands over time.
So how do you create the shared vision for something
that changes so much, and where people already
perceive it in different ways?
What we did is create two teams in parallel.
In five days we were able to create even more output
by sending one team with requirements
for working two years from now, and another team
working with requirements for four years from now.
They were able to create really exciting vision videos,
and show the team kind of like a postcard of what
might be happening in the future and help make better choices.
That was one week out of many, but a very interesting week.
00:27:58,040 --> 00:28:01,500 One day I walked into campus and I saw this.
And I thought what is this?
This is one of the balloons for Project Loon.
The team is sending these balloons in the air
in order to help distribute internet
for parts of the world that don't really get it.
It's an amazing project.
It gives me a sense of wonder.
At the same time what was really important
for them to create great antennas so
the signal that's sent from the air
can be received on the ground.
So the talented design team at the design kitchen at Google X
ran a design sprint.
They came together.
They explored different ideas.
And they made prototypes, like hardware prototypes,
like various different kinds of antennas that they can test.
What's interesting about it is that if you put an antenna
on a conference room table, you cannot tell if it's too large,
too small, or if it's easy to install.
It doesn't give you a lot of information.
So you actually have to try putting
the antennae on different pieces of something
that kind of looks like a house.
And, in fact, they built a house mock up in order
to be able to do that like that.
How cool is that?
If you go to your team and say, let's
build a house so we can test our ideas,
they might think you're crazy.
But that might also be the right thing
to do if you want to test your idea if it's
related to something like that.
Glass is another team that uses sprints
internally as one of the toolkits.
But they also pioneered the idea of design sprints
for developers, for you guys.
So the Glass development team invites developers
to come and learn about the platform.
What are the design requirements?
How do you make something good with this?
They had a chance to try the hardware,
to come up with different ideas, and quickly
put the ideas from a Post-it into something that's
like a functional prototype.
It all happens in about four hours.
The sprint is not very long.
And they logged their ideas.
And now they can see what they've made.
And they can get feedback too.
Quick learning.
Exciting experience.
So you see how this works pretty cool for a product
lab like Google X. But does it work at scale?
If you have a huge team and a huge goal how does it happen?
Indeed, we have found that sprints
have become very popular with teams across the company.
It's become one of the ways in which the teams work,
from Google Fiber to Hangouts.
In fact, if you have used Hangouts to call your mom
please thank Jake over here.
The guy created the idea of design sprints
at Google working with team, and he used the sprint
to create an early version of what became Hangouts
as a product.
The team that's working on Hangouts
is also using design sprints to redesign and launch new UIs.
So if that's not a design feat, I don't know what is.
The sprints here helped us work with teams of four people,
and up to teams of 175.
I'm not kidding.
We literally had that many sprinters
in a recent sprint one month ago.
I want to share a video with you that gives you
a sense of what it's like to be a part of this large sprint,
where teams are running in parallel in order
to meet goals in a very shortened time frame.
-Great design happens within constraints.
And those constraints are good because it
helps narrow your focus.
There's something about pressure, and in many cases
conflict, that creates good things.
-So in our context a sprint is a very focused, intense period
where we have a team of people coming together
from different disciplines and focusing
on solving a specific design problem.
-Too often there's a process where one group works
on something, and then they hand it to the next group,
and then that group hands it to the next group.
And something gets lost in translation.
So this is a mechanism where we can all get together
on the same page, and you get much more tangible results much
more quickly.
-The ability to kind of leapfrog the traditional design process
is incredible.
-I think a lot of people's idea of creativity
is you have this freedom, you know,
leaning back in your chair and just imagining things.
And it's really not like that anymore.
-Watching what was going on yesterday,
there was a lot of arguing.
There was a lot of dissatisfaction,
and they had to figure their way through that.
And so today they're actually testing their prototypes
and changing tack a little bit.
And that's kind of the magic of it.
When you see these transitions that these teams go through.
-A lot of what comes out of sprint week
is this intangible camaraderie that
helps us work better together.
But the second part are the projects.
-What we're trying to do here is create very high quality
deliverables that turn into real products.
-An actual artifact at the end that you can then
take to engineering to build, or you can take to customers
to get more feedback on.
We hope that there will be a lot of the projects
that people are working on that will get picked up
in some form or another.
But there's really no losers.
When you participate in a sprint you either win or you learn.
00:33:24,556 --> 00:33:25,510 [END VIDEO PLAYBACK]
Win or learn.
That's the spirit of the sprint.
You win when you get to make something awesome
and get totally shocked at how fast you can run.
And then you learn if you create something
that advances your goals.
You know how to do it better next time.
So you might have your design process
and your own way of working.
I want to share five hacks with you that
will help you compress your design
process from a large piece to something that's short,
a week or less.
We're hoping that these hacks will help you.
First is to be aware that the sprint is something to design.
It's worth putting the effort into it,
and here's the workflow for a typical sprint.
There's work before, during, and after.
Before the sprint you want to make sure
that you're solving the right problem.
It doesn't matter if you create something
that no one wants to use or it's not
useful in your organization.
So you need to focus on a challenge.
You want to create a team.
Bring the right people together.
Schedule the sprint so that it makes sense and every minute
is planned.
During the sprint it's about letting the teams experience
the right set of design methods and research methods.
And it's about working as fast as you can,
helping resolve the conflicts, looking
for that deeper insight.
After the sprint it's all about making sure
that the results are pointing towards launch.
You want to be successful.
I want to draw your attention here
to how much effort is involved before and after.
Many people skip that part, and they only
focus on the middle of the sprint.
It's so exciting, let's just run and make amazing things.
You want to make sure that you're prepared,
and that you're pointing towards launch before and after so
that you can be successful in order to create.
Now, here's another hack.
Because the design sprint is a unique way of working we
have also created a new role.
We call that the sprint master.
This is the person who's going to be the CEO of the project
and make sure for the duration of the sprint everybody's
working at an amazing pace.
Now, this is not a duck with a snorkel.
It's a ninja.
These people are awesome.
So here's Jin.
He's the designer and the sprint master.
Here's Marty.
He's a designer and the sprint master.
Ellen, Lauren, and Dave.
What they have in common is that they're awesome designers,
but they also are prepared to be sprint masters,
and they can take their team and make
them totally shocked in how much they can achieve together.
We found that by measuring the satisfaction of sprints
that had and didn't have trained sprint
masters that the second kind was better.
People are more satisfied with participating
in a sprint that's well crafted.
So the reason also that sprint masters matter
is that if you have a team that's only sprinters,
the most predictable outcome is that they end up
in different directions.
You need the sprint master in order
to create the sense of a common goal, of a shared
goal, and a shared dream, and let them run fast.
And the sprint master ensures that.
Designing the team is another and very interesting part
of it.
Now, you know from Jake that working with designers, PMs,
engineers, everyone is really crucial.
What happens if you're missing someone?
Say you need to add the researcher to your team
because you don't have one.
The sprint is an opportunity to redefine who is on your team.
You can invite the researcher from your larger organization,
or find someone from the industry.
No one wakes up hoping that they're
going to have a boring day in which they do not contribute
decidedly anything towards mankind.
So when you invite someone to a sprint
they have a chance to do something cool,
and generally people say yes.
I've been surprised on how many people I've been able to invite
and enrich the team.
Another hack is about accountability.
I put these brackets here because I
call these accountability brackets.
It's about starting and ending something.
Just like in software you don't start and forget
to end something because it doesn't compile if you don't
have the right braces, these accountability brackets
help remind us about what to do at the beginning
and at the end.
No matter what your design processes is
we recommend that you start and end with user research.
At the beginning you want to open the bracket
and talk to users, learn about their needs.
It is always amazing the sense of empathy and discovery
that you can get from that.
Like the time Daniel kind of got this shining light over him
because he observed what people are
like when they go to the store to buy coffee.
And you want to end with user research.
You just created something.
You finished, closed Photoshop, or you
closed your prototype and coding.
And now you can bring that to people and ask,
is that meeting your goals?
There's always interesting things to learn.
The other hack around accountability
is how to optimize the executive time.
Now, we saw that at Google Ventures
the executives are often a part of the entire experience.
What happens if your executives are not
available, or not available for the whole time?
You can invite people and your executives
to visit you at the beginning of the sprint.
You can interview them for about 20 minutes
and learn about their goals so that your team can
be aligned with where they want to go.
As a bonus, you can bring them in in the middle
to get a check in.
Are we going the right way?
And then afterwards you want to make sure
that resources are committed so that your sprint is going
and continuing way beyond the [INAUDIBLE]
that you created it for.
Now, if you're a designer it might
feel intimidating to go to an executive
and invite them to a sprint.
I understand.
But think about it from the executive's perspective.
They don't wake up in the morning
hoping to have a boring day.
By going to a sprint, even in 20 minutes,
they get a chance to participate in something
special, energizing, impactful.
So it might be worth it for them too.
So starting and ending with someone's time,
someone who'll be approving your work, is very important.
So with that we learned about stories and sprints
from Google X, across Google, and we learned some hacks.
That's great.
But something's missing here.
I promise.
There's something that you haven't heard yet.
You cannot learn about design by listening to me.
Talking and thinking about it is only so helpful.
I would like to invite you to some sprints.
00:39:50,260 --> 00:39:51,930 I'm so glad you're excited.
Tomorrow at 9 o'clock there'll be a sprint with Glassware.
The Glass team is putting a sprint for you guys.
And at 11:00 the legendary team at Google Ventures
will be running a sprint for you guys as well.
These will not be five days experiences.
I promise.
NADYA DIREKOVA: There'll be two hours in which you
have a chance to learn about the basics of the methodology
and to test and learn something quickly.
Later this summer we would like to welcome you
to additional sprints for Glassware Material Design that
got announced today, and for Android Wear.
You can sign up.
And if you're interested in this way of working,
let us know at this form.
designsprints with an S 2014.
Let us know and bring your team.
00:40:41,470 --> 00:40:43,540 I want to leave you with this message.
Make great things.
And you might as well do it fast.
The world needs you.
00:40:59,280 --> 00:41:00,000 NADYA DIREKOVA: OK.
JAKE KNAPP: Do we have time for?
NADYA DIREKOVA: Let's check.
JAKE KNAPP: Oh, we do.
We have four minutes.
NADYA DIREKOVA: We have four minutes for your questions.
JAKE KNAPP: Fast questions.
JAKE KNAPP: Right there.
First hand up.
NADYA DIREKOVA: There's two mics here and here.
So you can line up and give us your questions.
JAKE KNAPP: Oh sorry.
DANIEL BURKA: Or just yell it out, and I'll repeat it.
AUDIENCE: How do you go about selecting users for your user
testing at the end of the sprint?
JAKE KNAPP: Great question.
So how do we go about selecting users for our studies
at the end of the sprint?
The method that we use at Google Ventures
is actually mostly Craigslist.
We'll post an ad on Craigslist.
We'll get 200, 250 responses in a major city.
And what's really important is that we have a screener survey.
So we'll use a Google survey to ask
them to answer a bunch of questions that doesn't reveal
exactly what we're looking for, and then we
get a spreadsheet we can go through.
The way you structure that survey,
the way you write that ad is really important so that you
don't get, you know-- You want quality customers that
match exactly what you're looking for.
And there's some posts on there, if you follow that same link,
gv.com/designsprint, you can find your way to some posts
about how to do that.
For some customers, just to add one more thing,
if you need a certain kind of expert user
we'll usually rely on the company
to use their connections.
My question will be what are the general questions that you will
be asking the users on the interview session
after you have the prototype?
I mean, you must have a template questions
to facilitate your design to the users.
What are those templates and general questions?
JAKE KNAPP: The best source for those questions is also
But to give you a little tantalizing
hints of what it's like the key is actually
to structure the interview guide right to the prototype.
So you want to get people reacting rather than giving you
You want them to be moving through the prototype
as though it was real.
And the best way to do that is actually a little nuanced.
So I'll totally direct you to check out the blog posts
for all the detail about writing those questions.
You guys spoke about two pretty different scenarios.
You spoke about sprinting as individuals,
whereas you talked about bigger groups
and sort of teams that sprint.
My question is when you have groups that sprint together,
do you interfere at all with the dynamics of that group?
Because sometimes you have, you know, really strong voices,
and really shy voices, and stuff like that.
Do you at all interfere with the dynamics of the group,
or do you just kind of let it happen?
NADYA DIREKOVA: The question is whether in large groups
trying to interfere or not?
That's the role of the sprint master.
I don't call it interference.
I call it leading.
JAKE KNAPP: We also want, when there's
a dynamic about how decisions are made in the company,
we want to understand it and expose it.
We want to ask them how it works,
and make sure that the way we make decisions
mirrors that so that we don't create
a false sense of collegiality.
DANIEL BURKA: A lot of the decision making stuff Jake
was showing with the stickers, you
know, we're not standing around arguing with each other,
because then the person with the loudest voice can win.
We're stopping, doing a lot of individual thinking,
and then voting individually.
So people are much more independent of each other,
and not susceptible to so much group think.
What are some of your tips for enforcing deadlines
when you need to wait for significant data
to make intelligent iterations?
JAKE KNAPP: Well, I mean that's a pretty complex question.
I think that what significant data is defined as
is like-- I don't know what you mean.
We think that you can get really good data
from a lot of different ways.
And one of them is these kinds of user research.
There are other ways to get it fast.
And I understand sometimes there are certain kinds of decisions
that you can only get from a real world launch.
But our framework, our lens, is what
is the fastest way we can test this hypothesis that we have.
There's something we don't know, and how can we get to an answer
as quickly as possible?
We need to test it somehow.
And if we think of it as a prototype and a test
it opens up a new world of possibilities.
When you think the only way you can
get data is to launch and measure
a live product, or a fully functional live product,
it limits you.
So without detail it's hard for me
to not give that kind of hand wavy answer,
but I think the key for us is always
thinking what's the fastest way to answer the unknown.
NADYA DIREKOVA: We'll take one more question.
AUDIENCE: What tools or modifications
can you suggest for working with a distributed design team?
So if they can't physically be there to put stickies
do you have like tools they you use?
JAKE KNAPP: The best tool is a plane.
If you can just get them there that would work the best.
Nadya, do you have any experience
with this that's worked well?
NADYA DIREKOVA: You can do Hangouts.
I mean, it's best if you're together
because you really feel that bonding.
But you cam work in a virtual way using like virtual tools.
You just need to plan it, or think about it.
AUDIENCE: Thank you.
NADYA DIREKOVA: You're welcome.
JAKE KNAPP: Thanks you guys so much.
You can chalk us down.
Thanks a lot.
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Google I/O 2014 - The design sprint: from Google Ventures to Google[x]

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Barbara Lu published on February 27, 2020
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