The second phase of the Online Video Editor project saw us embark on a series of design sprints. We would sketch, design, test and iterate several concepts each week for 6 weeks. Each sprint would aim to prove or disprove a new hypothesis, or refine an existing one.
We had used Google’s ‘design sprint’ methodology in the past and were really excited to see how it would work on the Online Video Editor project. The goal of each sprint is to have something tangible to test with users at the end. This approach means we learn something new about our ideas every week.
The aim of the process was to gain a deeper understanding of our users’ behaviours and to begin to empathise with them. Over the course of the 6 weeks, we met 23 people face to face and ran several online testing sessions.
The process starts by taking all the research, sketches and workshop outcomes from the previous research sprints and creating a set of ‘hypotheses’. It’s impossible to tackle all the user and business needs in one go, so every sprint we agree on one or more hypothesis and write them on the wall. This focused on the sketches, prototypes and discussions.
The atmosphere at Forbidden was more like a start-up than an agency-client relationship, with contributions from everyone making processes very collaborative. Each day there were ideas to sketch and prototypes to create, so we needed all hands on deck. On occasion, we brought in users every morning, rather than waiting to test an idea at the end of the week. We spent the afternoons rapidly iterating on the ideas and hypotheses based on the user behaviour and feedback. Our prototypes were made using Proto.io, and were of varying levels of fidelity depending on the amount of time we had between sessions.
This approach meant we were able to change direction mid-sprint if needed: there’s no point developing an idea too far if a simple prototype is able to prove or disprove a hypothesis. Due to changes in our understanding we changed direction several times during this stage of the project. As a result, we focused in on the parts of the product that would deliver the highest value. The results from the testing were central to our ability to create a revolutionary video editing tool.
Each user testing session was broadcast to the wider project team in real-time using ‘Google Hangouts On-air’ and the share screen option. This allowed us to record the broadcast on a private YouTube channel for us to refer to later. We captured the most salient points and fed amends straight back into the design process.
Experience design never ends, so as the project reaches the development stages it’s important to iterate and develop further. We will continue this cycle until launch and beyond.