User Test Flow

User Test Flow

Recipe step number
Day 3, Activity 3
Outline the storyboard at a high-level
Reading Time
10 mins

Recipe: Design Sprint (Day-3)

  1. Deciding on ideas
  2. Rumble (optional)
  3. User Test Flow
  4. Storyboard

Materials needed: - Mural (digital whiteboard) - Microsoft Teams (or other video conference tool)

More resources - links etc go here


Why do the User Test Flow? Because it can be a tricky task to go from one 3-panel sketch to an 8-panel storyboard of the concept, and it’s tough to facilitate and keep a group on track through the process. Note: This activity is not from the original Sprint book. It was created as an in-between step that makes the transition to Storyboarding much easier and is now widely used around the world.

Here's a video from the inventors of the exercise, Design Sprint agency AJ&Smart, that shows the key steps.

The purpose of the User Test Flow is to plan the high-level flow of the 45 min concept test you'll conduct with customers (AKA "users") in 2 days time.

The test will consist of guiding the customer through a realistic flow of steps that showcase all the key features/ideas while observing their natural actions and reactions.

The User Test Flow makes use of the Note & Vote method to help the team quickly decide on the basic flow of steps that customers will be guided through.

You'll use the "winning" flow of 6 simple steps as the basis for the Storyboard. This makes the next step, drawing the details of each step, much simpler and faster.

Key Tips

Key tips from Advance Concepts™
  • NOTE – When doing this virtually, the facilitators will often do this separately on a break, to get to the storyboard much more quickly 😊
  • Remember to write each “action step” from the perspective of your target customer. Be human-centered!
  • Hint: Use verbs - It works best if each action step describes something the customer does (ideally, an informative subjective-value exchange)

How to do this activity

Allow 2.5 hours

Here's what it looks like in action:

Original image source (annotated):

And close up...

Notice that each sticky contains a verb, e.g. "student
Notice that each sticky contains a verb, e.g. "student asks..", "student receives..", "student shares...". This format ensures that we are crafting steps of how the customer will move through our test.

How to do it

Allow 30-40 mins

[5 mins] Recap the winning Concept Sketch(es) to the team
  • The goal is to show all the key features and ideas to the customer
  • Remind the participants all the important features or ideas should be covered in the 6 steps
[10 mins] Each person writes 6 steps
  • Each person is free to plan the order of the steps how they want
  • However it usually works best to:
    • Make the 1st sticky a realistic "entry point" (What's a natural way for the customer to enter in to this new solution? E.g. "..receives email about new system...")
    • Make the 6th sticky a "value exchange" (Is the customer willing to give something of value in exchange for this solution. E.g. Will they pay to use it? Will they give their email address for notifications? Will they recommend it to a colleague?...)
[3 mins] Group vote
  • Each person (not the Decider yet) has 1 mandatory vote and 1 optional vote
    • (mandatory) Vote on the best row E.g. the vote goes on either A, B, C, etc...
    • (optional) Can choose one extra sticky (from any row) to add a 7th sticky - if needed
[10 mins] Decider vote
  • As usual the Decider makes the final choice
  • They can consult the team and ask questions to help them decide
  • Ultimately they must choose the "winning" row/flow
  • ...and they also have one optional extra vote to choose a 7th sticky from another row (if needed) and can add it in anywhere within the chosen flow