Skip to content

BMC Switzerland

What if you could find your perfect bike?

I was tasked with providing the user experience and product innovation expertise for BMC Switzerland's website.

My role was to facilitate and advise the team through a 4-day design sprint, as well as leading the user testing phase.

The challenge

For our second Design Sprint with sports marketing agency Brandwave, we worked with Swiss bicycle company BMC Switzerland.

Similar to our previous engagement, we were tasked with providing the user experience and product innovation expertise within the longer-term marketing strategy and activity that Brandwave and BMC Switzerland would be doing.

The long term goal: In 2 years time, riders will be able to buy a BMC how they want, where they want and when they want, regardless of where they live.

The approach

Inspired by Jake Knapp’s deck from his Copenhagen workshop, I decided to put together a deck to help guide us through the Sprint. This was the twelfth Design Sprint I had facilitated and I wanted it as close to the Design Sprint 2.0 (the most current version of the Design Sprints) as possible.

Mammoth deck in operation

Mammoth deck in operation

Monday

Monday is for building foundation and focus. Here are the outputs of Monday! This was Monday’s plan:

Ask the experts and how might we

We asked Greg, Denise and David a number of questions to best inform and guide our thinking to the challenges BMC have as a business.

The biggest group I’ve run a Design Sprint with so far

While we conducted the interviews, we wrote “How Might We” statements with a view to solving these later in the design sprint. The top voted how might we’s included:

One thing I should’ve done (we’re all learning right?) is to limit the how might we’s, even to three per person. We had too many!

Sprint questions

We then wrote our Sprint Questions.

Writing Sprint Questions starting with “can we”

Our top votes Sprint Questions were:

  1. can we find out what kinds of content relates with different types of customers?
  2. can we have too much information? Will it alienate people? (Product finder is too big)
  3. can we handle the complexity of a top notch e-commerce site in terms of HR and knowledge?
Sprint question selection

Map

We put together a Map of different actors reaching a number of Outcomes.

The map is supposed to be messy — and ours was!

We placed our most important How Might We’s on the most relevant places on the Map. That made us understand the biggest areas of opportunity.

We decided to target the New Customer and the target area was the product selection. We felt that once a user had landed on a desired product page, they had decided and would be closer to arrange a test ride, visiting a retailer or buying from an online retailer like Evans Cycles.

Lightning Demos

Each team member shared 2 features or patterns each that would inspire and help us solve the target area. Tim drew the ideas on the flip-chart.

Getting inspiration and patterns from other sites that have solved the problem
Examples from retail featured heavily

Tuesday

I decided to push the 4-part sketch to the start of Tuesday so everyone had renewed energy and ready to create!

We made the long term goal a bit clearer and so it is now: In 2 years time, riders will be able to buy a BMC however they want without barriers.

Four part sketch

We started with fresh minds creating out four-part sketches, including:

Notes to start the four-part sketch

Voting

We then voted on the best ideas with our decider David choosing the final ones to move into the next exercise.

Voting

User test flow

After lunch, we jumped into a storyboard hack — the user test flow. Here we decided on a goal and a start, completing the stages to getting towards that goal. Some goals were different, but they all related back to helping new customers find that perfect bike.

User test flow hack

David decided on the flow that met the aims of the project most and also picked a Facebook review moment to include at the end of the journey.

Storyboarding

We save the hardest exercise until last! With our mapped out user test flow, we started to draw the storyboard which will, in paper, determine what we prototype. We each took it in turns to sketch each scene — this is what we call collaboration!

Greg sketching the About scene
Our finished storyboard

The user flow David (our decider) selected was originally for E-bikes, but after thinking some more on what we want to achieve and how the rest of BMC Switzerland will use the learnings, he decided to replace ‘E-bike’ with ‘Road bike. The journey that we will prototype is for a new customer looking at road bikes.

Wednesday

Prototyping day! This was the key day for creating the prototype and ensuring we could give users a convincing high-quality website to ensure that the data from the tests would be as real as possible.

Tim and I pair designing the prototype
Prototyped screens

Thursday

With every test that went by, we were more and more encouraged that there was more work to do. Thankfully, through using the method within the Design Sprint, we were able to make actions from the negative feedback in readiness for the iteration sprint were we would have the opportunity to work it in.

We tried something new (why not!) with this test and asked users to feedback on the current website as well as the prototype. The hypothesis was that this was a digital product and some existing users would see the new website in the future, so was it an improvement?

We ensured we stuck to time within each test — 45 minutes each
How we gather user test feedback — orange for negative and green for positive
One user going through the product

Iteration sprint

Taking the actions from the user testing, we started iterating the prototype. Brandwave and BMC Switzerland also had questions about a feature they needed for the development, so we took a day to work that out and prototype it so they could get user feedback before committing to the solution.

Tim working out the new feature

We also wanted to know whether there were any nuances to how people would interact with the experience on a mobile phone, so we created mobile-sized screens to test with users.

Pair designing to get both mobile and desktop prototypes created

When user testing day came for a second time, again, we gathered feedback to turn into actions. This time however, those actions would go into the product backlog for other teams to further design and develop.

The outcomes

Human tested prototypes

Having sprint questions to answer and getting answers from real people is one of the top outcomes from any Design Sprint. BMC Switzerland had some key questions and with the sprint, were able to fast-forward into the future and find out how their product would fare, without the cost of building and launching.

Design sprint perfection

This was the first successful to-the-letter Design Sprint we had run. We ran through each of the exercises well and had the outcomes to back up our thinking.

Product backlog and handover

We delivered a product backlog and handed over the Monday after the final week. Each Trello card had the positives, the negatives and actions to take the product forward.

“With our second engagement with Brandwave and a personal interest in cycling, this really was a fantastic project to work on. It was the first time we had run as close to the Design Sprint methodology as possible and the outcomes prove that working this way is incredibly valuable“ — Ross Chapman

What’s next?

Brandwave and BMC Switzerland can now take the human-tested feedback, the learnings and decisions made along the way with the product backlog to enable them to innovate fast from fast-forwarding into the future with the Design Sprint.