What is a Relay?
A Relay is the time for lofty thinking and creative exploration. It is our tool for innovation, big thinking, and concept development.
Relays begin after the Design Sprint, which created the high-level solution. We use three to four Relays to map out the product, delving deeper and deeper into more detail with each iteration.
Each new Relay starts by identifying a critical business problem and ends with putting a real-world prototype in front of actual customers, allowing us to validate the solution.
Why conduct a Relay?
Actual customers interacted with the life-like prototype at the end of the Design Sprint, and we gained valuable information. But additional input is needed to create a complete solution. Relays provide an opportunity to:
- Take a deeper dive: The initial prototype was a high-level solution designed to test and confirm the direction of the new product. Now, we take the next step and delve into the details.
- Explore lofty ideas: By examining a broad range of creative solutions, we come up with innovative ways to improve the customers’ experience.
- Refine the solution: With each successive Relay, we focus deeper and deeper on the details until we create a complete solution.
- Validate with end users: Every Relay provides another opportunity to receive actual users’ feedback to confirm that the solution is addressing the needs of the market.
- Incorporate feedback: After conducting the user studies, we tweak the design to address the input we heard.
By including Relays in the design process, we ensure multiple touch points with users to adequately address their pain points with your product or service, ensuring an excellent experience for your customers.
What does a Relay involve?
Solutions are meaningful only when they solve very well-thought-out problems. Using our learnings from the previous Design Sprint or Relay, we identify the most pressing business issues and narrow the scope for the upcoming Relay.
Once we identify the problems to address, we brainstorm to come up with various options to solve the problems. After careful consideration and discussion, we vote to determine which ideas to pursue. By the end of this phase, we have a rough sketch of the complete solution for the most pressing business problems.
The next step is to fill in the details by creating a storyboard and product map that create a complete view of the user experience. Then we build a real-world prototype for the user study based on that information. But before we put the product in front of actual users, we create an interview script and dry run the prototype so that we address any issues before the real test. The result is a complete prototype that we use to collect actual feedback.
The next step is to conduct user studies where actual customers use the prototype. The interview follows a prepared interview script in order to receive unbiased feedback. In another room, our team observes and synthesises the interaction as it occurs.
We analyse the feedback from each of the user studies, document customer quotes, and record what we observed. From this information, we discover patterns that we turn into insights and design opportunities. We use this information as the base for the next Relay.
What is the final delivery of the Relays?
After three to four Relays, you have a working prototype that solves the identified critical business problems. Twenty to thirty users evaluated your product and provided valuable input. At the end of this process, you have a validated and innovative solution that resulted from big thinking and creative exploration.
What happens after the Relay?
After this iterative process, we have a large prototype that captures most of the product features. The next step is to create alignment with each of your business units to ensure that they support the proposed solution. From there, the product design execution begins.