Your sprint began with a big challenge, an excellent team — and not much else. By Friday, you’ve created promising solutions, chosen the best, and built a realistic prototype. That alone would make for an impressively productive week. But you’ll take it one step further as you interview customers and learn by watching them react to your prototype. This test makes the entire sprint worthwhile: At the end of the day, you’ll know how far you have to go, and you’ll know just what to do next.
The whole process of planning and running Friday’s test is described in the Sprint book. We’ve also got a standalone guide to “research sprints” in the GV Library. See below for the complete Friday checklist and a short video where Jake and I talk through Friday’s customer test.
Checklists for Friday
Makeshift Research Lab
❏ Two rooms. In the sprint room, the sprint team will watch a video feed of the interviews. You’ll need a second, smaller room for the actual interviews. Make sure the interview room is clean and comfortable for your guests. (Read more on page 202 in Sprint.)
❏ Set up hardware. Position a webcam so you can see customers’ reactions. If your customer will be using a smartphone, iPad, or other hardware device, set up a document camera and microphone.
❏ Set up video stream. Use any video-conferencing software to stream video to the sprint room. Make sure the sound quality is good. Make sure the video and audio are one-way only.
- Five is the magic number. After five customer interviews, big patterns will emerge. Do all five interviews in one day. (p. 197)
- Watch together, learn together. Don’t disband the sprint team. Watching together is more efficient, and you’ll draw better conclusions. (p. 218)
- A winner every time. Your prototype might be an efficient failure or a flawed success. In every case, you’ll learn what you need for the next step. (p. 223)
- Friendly welcome. Welcome the customer and put him or her at ease. Explain that you’re looking for candid feedback. (p. 204)
- Context questions. Start with easy small talk, then transition to questions about the topic you’re trying to learn about. (p. 205)
- Introduce the prototype. Remind the customer that some things might not work, and that you’re not testing him or her. Ask the customer to think aloud. (p. 206)
- Tasks and nudges. Watch the customer figure out the prototype on his or her own. Start with a simple nudge. Ask follow-up questions to help the customer think aloud. (p. 208)
- Debrief. Ask questions that prompt the customer to summarize. Then thank the customer, give him or her a gift card, and show the customer out. (p. 209)
- Be a good host. Throughout the interview, keep the customer’s comfort in mind. Use body language to make yourself friendlier. Smile! (p. 212)
- Ask open-ended questions. Ask “Who/What/Where/When/Why/How?” questions. Don’t ask leading “yes/no” or multiple-choice questions. (p. 212)
- Ask broken questions. Allow your speech to trail off before you finish a question. Silence encourages the customer to talk without creating any bias. (p. 214)
- Curiosity mindset. Be authentically fascinated by your customer’s reactions and thoughts. (p. 215)
Meanwhile, in the sprint room, the team watches the interviews over a live video feed and takes notes.
Before the First Interview
❏ Draw a grid on a whiteboard. Create a column for each customer. Then add a row for each prototype or section of prototype. (p. 219)
During Each Interview
❏ Take notes as you watch. Hand out sticky notes and markers. Write down direct quotes, observations, and interpretations. Indicate positive or negative. (p. 219)
After Each Interview
❏ Stick up notes. Stick your interview notes in the correct row and column on the whiteboard grid. Briefly discuss the interview, but wait to draw conclusions. (p. 220)
❏ Take a quick break.
At the End of the Day
❏ Look for patterns. At the end of the day, read the board in silence and write down patterns. Make a list of all the patterns people noticed. Label each as positive, negative, or neutral. (p. 222)
❏ Wrap up. Review your long-term goal and your sprint questions. Compare with the patterns you saw in the interviews. Decide how to follow-up after the sprint. Write it down. (p. 222)