Notes for sprint 5

Things feel like they’re wrapping up even though we’ve got (at a push) 1.5 fortnight sprints left. Here’s what happened in sprint 5.

User research emergent themes

Stewart and Rosie have been busy interviewing participants I found from my Twitter scraping recruitment exercise


…and emergent themes are coming through.

  • Funding – the right sort at the right time can make or break a business
  • Size matters – investors often overlook the little guys
  • Skills outside technical competence – such as negotiation, commercialisation – don’t come naturally to all
  • The importance to reach beyond national borders to maintain and grow the business
  • Finding specialists directly would be preferable over short term consultancy
  • Mentoring – kept coming up as a mean of being helped along
  • [Needing to] ‘trust’ the site is another one we’ve picked up through usability testing. If a user is expressing an interest in an partnering opportunity, they may be hinting at their IP which naturally makes them nervous.

I wanted to share these with the rest of team as they shaped up so we could be sympathetic to them as we go, building on the [more granular, functional] stories picked up during usability testing and sorted on the trello and real boards.

As the interviews wrap up this sprint, we’ll almalgate stories from both for a consistent picture, in readiness for assessment, though I’m comfortable work happening now is on the right track.

Opportunity-to-thanks for registering

Until now, build has been one sprint behind design. Usability tests were pop up sessions early on in sprint 5 which meant observations carried forward were implemented early doors. I’ve lined up 12-15 sessions for  the last two sprints and was keen the build be as up-to-date as the designs. This is more the GDS way of designing in code, but costs me double time and money. It’ll be worth it though I’m sure as these tests will be the acid test of ideas to date with observations added to the beta backlog.

Part of what we’ll test is the password-less log in (using email to verify the user by sending them a link to click or code to copy and paste). The concept went down fine at discovery usability testing, but now there’s more meat to the prototype bones, it feels like it’s now or never. The results of these last two sprints will decide if we progress down this route, which is the service’s most significant redesign piece.

2-3 assisted digital sessions are within that 12-15 remaining tests I mentioned, which will help steer the decision.

Form follows function*

Now we’ve spent a good amount of time designing the end-to-end transactional service, we need to also consider how we’ll excite / inspire / engage users too. EEN exists to serve cutting edge start ups in the UK, to helping them scale up, predominantly using internationalisation as a means to do that.

User research has confirmed to user needs to address this, but it’s a complicated, overwhelming prospect. Our content approach will be to show, not tell and we need to do that in a way which will turn out users on.

The user research has also been exploring the psychographic profile of our audience, so building on from some control designs in this sprint…

…we’ll take one or two more routes to a focus group to see what shakes out.

*borrowed from fffunction who I worked with on Dorothy House a while back. Great guys, did a great job and name rings true for EEN, methinks.