What if we could support the launch of a new category of phone?

In collaboration with Brandwave and Bullitt Group

The challenge

Working with Brandwave, a leading sports marketing agency, we helped with the UX design part of a longer engagement with their client. What they wanted help with was the user experience design of the website that would communicate the launch of a brand new product, launching Summer 2018.

“We were given two weeks, with a number of questions to answer. The initial anticipated outputs consisted of a number of page templates, a sitemap and some user testing. With the Design Sprint methodology, we were able to produce those outcomes including a human-tested prototype.” - Ross Chapman, product designer

Brandwave were working with their client Bullitt Group, a company who create mobile devices, such as the Caterpillar and Kodak phones. They were keen to understand more about how they could better serve user needs not just on the website, but in their other activity, including marketing and in-store with their next smartphone, the Land Rover Explore: Outdoor phone.

Understanding the target market from a marketing standpoint

The long term goal: To create the category of ‘the outdoors phone.’

Can we use a Design Sprint to answer this?

We believed so, but we weren’t sure. I had read that Design Sprints are well-suited to new products and with three companies working together, we needed both structure and high-speed delivery.

  • to demonstrate how we would work together
  • to start understanding the challenge and what had be learnt already

The approach

Knowing what we needed to do, we ran the Sprint. We decided quite early on that we would run a Design Sprint lite, meaning, we would take the exercises as we understood them and in doing so, run before we can walk. We didn’t have time to fully learn the exact ins and outs, but we were confident that with a firmer structure, we could deliver real value in a short space of time.

Day 1

On Day 1, Will and I decided to immerse ourselves into Land Rover as best we could, by posing as interested buyers at a local dealership! Understand how the brand communicates to customers helped us get in the zone. We also went to a local phone retailer to see and understand what the marketplace was like. Talking to a sales representative, we mentioned that phones were ‘fully featured’ and if they wanted to be more rugged or better at performing in the outdoors, then customers would buy a case.

Current market
Plotting problems to solve

Day 2

We were keen to understand what this would look like, so in earnest, we went through the needs of the business and started sketching how that might look.

Day 3

Once we knew what to design, we started working on the user interface design within Sketch. We were doing well for time and built a desktop version too, to understand any issues in responsive development after the sprint.

Will adjusting the prototype
The prototype at the end of Day 3

Day 4

User testing day was upon us. We had lined up around six users and tested the mobile prototype with half and desktop with the other.

Iteration sprint

With the actions from the user tests the previous week, we took the actions and iterated the prototype.

Sketching and voting
Will running a user test with participant Joe

The outcomes

We delivered the desired outcomes and started working in new ways with some Design Sprints exercises. While not totally to the book, the exercises did enable us to provide real value and get to the learning faster than a normal product design project.

Small groups make a big difference

We demonstrated the value of working within a small group and how using time as an asset can keep momentum and get things done. Time-boxing decision making and design made for a rapid process and that in itself made the project exciting, lightning fast and valuable.

Etch works well with others

We also demonstrated once again that we worked with others well. Brandwave have recently come back to work with us on a second Design Sprint, so we’ve benefited from identifying new ways of working too.

Backlogs FTW

Aside from the human-tested clickable prototype and the learning throughout, Brandwave and Bullitt Group now have a product backlog that their designers, developers and project managers can work through to action the decisions made within the two week sprint.

“We worked fast. I loved this project and it really demonstrated the value of relying upon a battle-tested product design methodology like Design Sprints“ — Ross Chapman, product designer at Etch

What’s next?

Brandwave and Bullitt Group can now take the human-tested feedback, the learnings and decisions made along the way with the product backlog to enable them to innovate and help launch a brand new category of phone.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Ross Chapman

Remote Design Sprint Facilitator and Product Strategist based in the UK. Founder of Skysoclear