Collaboration can be a great way achieving innovation in app design, but finding the right opportunities to successfully collaborate can be difficult. However, there’s one form of collaboration that has worked well for our clients (and us) in the past, providing a quick, focussed period of design and development that gets the project done – App Sprints.
An App Sprint is a focussed period of time in which app developers, content creators, marketing managers, and other stakeholders in a project get together and discuss, prototype and create an app – usually within a time frame ranging from several days, to a several weeks.
How it Works
Here’s an example of how an App Sprint can work in practice, we’ll use a Sprint Concept Day as an example:
- Initially, all the major stakeholders of a project are brought together in one place for a day, this could be a Marketing Manager, Sales Manager, App Developer and Content Creators (e.g. Writer, Graphic Designer)
- The team discusses the project and quickly identifies the key aspects of the app, then begin planning ideas for how the rest of the project should go. This could be just 1 day of refining app ideas, creating some sample content and sketching ideas.
- The team can then prototype the idea, so that everyone can see the concept come to life on real mobile devices
- At the end of this, the team decides which ideas should go ahead, and the App Developer will take this to create a detailed Functional Specification, alongside an initial Creative Design using the Prototypes
Read our Tooting Common App Sprint case study for a look at how the process has worked for our clients in the past
People who may not usually be involved in the app design process, such as Sales Managers, gain crucial understanding of the way their app is being developed, and can provide a deeper understanding of the broader organisation considerations to the rest of the team. This shared understanding can help create much more sustainable solutions for your organisation.
By getting everyone to spend a day together at the start of a project, decisions can be made quickly, based on the opinions of the experts in their field (whether that’s App Developers or Marketing Managers), and those decisions can be acted on straight away with rapid prototypes on the day.
If sessions require more than 1 day to complete – such as creating quality graphics and writing – collaborators can agree upon a fixed time-frame for each person to complete their work in.
As the sessions are time-boxed in predefined periods of time, the project can progress much further, in a much smaller amount of time than in more traditional design approaches.
Along with different viewpoints being brought together, this kind of time-boxed collaboration pushes everyone to find opportunities within the project quickly, and not allow themselves to lose focus or energy, because the success of the project relies on everyone getting involved and working alongside one another.
The outcome can be a prototype, or a finished app, but the restrained schedule of work provides a way to get an outcome from a project quickly, allowing room for reflection and future progression without having to spend months on a project.
Communication and Innovation
The true value of an App Sprint, is the collaboration between the participants though. Sprints work well because everyone that has a stake in the project gets to take part in the process from the start, so the barriers and mystery of development are opened up.
Collaborators gain a shared understanding of each others roles and skills, so can better utilise each other as a team – for example, a team member can talk with a Developer as soon as they get an idea, which can be scoped out immediately and either put it into action using a prototype – which can cut out a lot of wasted time and energy.
It also means that collaborators with different backgrounds, and different understandings of what the project requires to succeed, all work together in a practical way. They can realise prototypes and test ideas together, which often leads to interesting and innovative solutions to problems.
App Sprints can work for all kinds of projects. If you’re thinking of developing an app, but are uncertain about high costs or long lead-times, why not consider an App Sprint that can get your ideas shaped and prototyped much quicker?
Take a look at our App Sprint Days to see if a Sprint could help your organisation