Design sprint, but make it async
I kicked off this project with a series of customer interviews, a survey, and a design sprint. Buffer's calendar has been a known problem for quite some time, but it was important to look at the pain points with fresh eyes. I was focused on the web experience and partnered with a more junior designer who was focused on mobile — our goal was to create a seamless cross-platform experience for customers. There were many potential pain points to address beyond some of the obvious opportunities (like not opening the calendar in a new tab), so a design sprint was an efficient way to get the creative juices flowing and to figure out where to focus our design efforts. What were the most critical pain points to address?
I live in California, and our mobile designer was in Taiwan, a 15 hour time difference. How might we turn this traditionally super-synchronous activity into an effective asynchronous one? Structure and setting clear expectations felt key, so I outlined our daily activities, goals, and check-in points. I put together a Figma file for us to operate in, and recorded a quick Loom video to walk through it all.
Explaining what a design sprint is (and what it isn't), as well as how we'd complete the sprint.
We ran through user interviews, the How Might We exercise, lots of sketching, prototyping, and testing with customers.
After lots of sketching and reviewing, we developed prototypes and tested them with real customers to gauge how well we had addressed their top pain points and whether the experience felt intuitive. Customers who loved Buffer often cited simplicity as a reason, so maintaining that feeling of focus and ease was key.