Day 99— Kicking off a Design Sprint (starting @ the end)

Today I started a new design sprint. I’m basically planning to copy the Google Ventures Design Sprint, or Day 71 if you’ve been following along.

Just like last time, the goal is to speed up the innovation process like this:

Problem to Solve

Our design sprint this week will focus on transition readiness assessments from healthcare providers to teens with chronic health issues. Starting as young as 12 and continuing through 18/19 years old, healthcare providers use these assessments to get a baseline view of what the teen is able to do so they can then build a program to help them close any skill gaps.

So far so good.

The problem? Assessments end up looking like this:

If you’ve ever been to a dentist / doctor’s office, you know exactly how this feels.

In our desire to collect data from people, we lose sight of the experience of the end user. Too often, these forms are the first thing that people experience in their doctor’s office. Imagine if this was how we greeted people we just met in real life?

So here’s our design challenge for the week:

How might we create a fun and engaging data collection experience for teens?

Resources for Today

  • Google Ventures Library for today’s content outline
  • Notebook / sticky notes
  • for mapping out flows and digital sticky notes
  • for a timer


I started by duplicating my JIRA cards from last time. There is a time benefit to doing things more than once! Just like last time, I find that I’m infinitely more productive when I have a record of what I’m working on, I start the day with a plan, and I finish the day by crossing off completed activities.

This Week’s Work

After doing these a few times, I also know recruitment is the most important part of the week so we can actually assess how we did. I’ll include this in today’s prep work so we can have at least 5 testers by Friday.


Set a long-term goal. Get optimistic. Ask: Why are we doing this project? Where do we want to be in six months, a year, or even five years from now? Write the long-term goal on a whiteboard. (Read more on page 55 in Sprint.)

Invincible’s Long Term Goal

In 2 years, Invincible is engaging teens with chronic health issues across 10 pediatric hospitals.

List sprint questions. Get pessimistic. Ask: How could we fail? Turn these fears into questions you could answer this week. List them on a whiteboard. (p. 57)

Part 1 — Fear Statements

  • We‘re unable to sell into pediatric hospitals.
  • The sales cycle to pediatric hospitals is too long and we give up before getting traction.
  • We run into data privacy issues.
  • We don’t deliver the app we think we can (wrong team, missed deadlines, etc.)
  • We run out of cash.
  • Healthcare providers don’t have faith in the Invincible app.
  • Hospitals aren’t willing to pay for Invincible.
  • Integrating data with hospital EMRs is too complicated, takes too much time, and costs too much money.
  • We don’t have internal advocates at pediatric hospitals.

Part 2 — Fear Statements Reframed as Questions

How might we…

  • sell into pediatric hospitals?
  • deliver world-class data privacy?
  • execute at a high level and deliver continuously?
  • build trust with healthcare providers?
  • convince hospitals to pay for Invincible?
  • integrate Invincible data with EMRs?
  • partner with pediatric advocates?

Note: last sprint I was a lot more worried about how we’ll engage teens than I am this sprint. Now I believe the bigger risk is that we fail to develop partnerships at the pediatric level and are unable to sell solutions into these systems. This sprint will mostly focus on the end user still, but with an eye toward healthcare providers and data integration.


Make a map. List customers and key players on the left. Draw the ending, with your completed goal, on the right. Finally, make a flowchart in between showing how customers interact with your product. Keep it simple: five to fifteen steps. (p. 65). Also check out this helpful how-to-video for making a map.

  • In laying out the map, I chose 3 key stakeholders: adolescents, parents, and providers. Adolescents are responsible for responding to the surveys; parents serve as a key information and support source (e.g., bringing them to the appointments), and healthcare providers identify and collect survey responses to make treatment decisions.
  • Technically the end goal should be more concrete than the happy hugging emoji. But the core problem to solve this week is: ‘can we make surveys fun for teens?’ If we can, we have a product worth selling.

1 p.m.

Lunch break. Eat together if you can (it’s fun). Remind your team to choose a light lunch to maintain energy in the afternoon. There are snacks if you get hungry later.

  • Leftover Super Bowl Chili.

1:30-ish: Research

Ask the Experts. Interview experts on your sprint team and guests from the outside. Aim for fifteen to thirty minutes each. Ask about the vision, customer research, how things work, and previous efforts. Pretend you’re a reporter. Update long-term goal, questions, and map as you go. (p. 71)

Explain How Might We notes. Distribute whiteboard markers and sticky notes. Reframe problems as opportunities. Start with the letters “HMW” on the top left corner. Write one idea per sticky note. Make a stack as you go. (p. 73)

Transitions from adolescence to adulthood are a large and growing area of emphasis for providers. It’s a challenging time for a number of reasons, and starting with an assessment allows a baseline of care.

Here’s what we’ll be re-designing:

Transition Readiness Questionnaire


Organize How Might We notes. Stick all the How Might We notes onto a wall in any order. Move similar ideas next to one another. Label themes as they emerge. Don’t perfect it. Stop after about ten minutes. (p. 79)

DISCOVER: How might we…

  • Involve parents in care?
  • Make it easy for HCPs to collect data about patients? 🟠

LEARN: How might we…

  • Rename the word “survey” or “questionnaire”? 🟠
  • Make it simple to provide information outside of a scheduled visit?
  • Share with users the ‘why’?
  • Digitize survey administration?
  • Make this all feel less clinical? 🟠
  • Make data collection feel modern?

USE-> Complete Surveys (Adolescent): How might we…

  • Show users they’re not alone?
  • Tie survey questions to outcomes teens care about?
  • Avoid surveys feeling like a test? 🟠
  • Make data collection more personable? 🟠🟠
  • Make users feel welcomed? 🟠🟠
  • Make data input fun and engaging? 🟠
  • Ensure completion in under 5 minutes?
  • Tie to a bigger purpose? 🟠🟠
  • Give a warm-up activity to settle people down?
  • Ensure accuracy of input?
  • Get teens smiling?
  • Put a face to the questions?
  • Incentivize completion?
  • Tie user profiles / superpowers to data entry (e.g., build your profile)

USE-> Receive Responses (HCP): How might we…

  • Track outcomes over time? 🟠
  • Inform further research? 🟠
  • Connect survey data to EMRs?
  • Enable population health / analytics? 🟠

Vote on How Might We notes. Each person has two votes, can vote on his or her own notes, or even the same note twice. Move winners onto your map. (p. 80)

I added a 🟠 to the list above for items that I wanted to vote on (ok, so I didn’t exactly follow the 2-vote rule…). Each of these things I thought would be interesting to explore. My favorites were:

  • Make data collection more personable? 🟠🟠
  • Make users feel welcomed? 🟠🟠
  • Tie to a bigger purpose? 🟠🟠

I’ll use these for considerations as we move toward building.


Pick a target. Circle your most important customer and one target moment on the map. The team can weigh in, but the Decider makes the call. (p. 87)

  • Most Important Customer: Adolescents
  • Target Moment: Complete survey

This decision was pretty straightforward, since this was our goal for the sprint: to design an engaging data collection experience.

The Sprint Venture Guide has the day stopping here, but I continue to find recruitment to be the most challenging piece, so I wanted to end the day with getting some people to test the prototype with at the end of the week.


Create a Recruiting Screener

Figure out who I‘m looking for

  • Started here and here to learn what I’m doing and used this tool (with this as a reference).
  • For this sprint, I want actual users who might respond to the screener, so we’re looking for adolescents and young adults living with type 1 diabetes.
  • Here’s the final screener:
Inclusion Criteria
Exclusion Criteria


❏ Walk the dog.


Recruit 6 Adolescent & Young Adult Testers


  • Source 1: Non-Profit Connection
  • Source 2: IG Community Outreach (sent 4 personalized messages)

What I sent:

Outreach Message

What’s Next?




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Bob Weishar

Bob Weishar

Startup founder surviving in his parent’s basement.

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