We are a small branding studio called Brandenstein that uses Design Sprint and Brand Sprint to help social impact businesses overcome the struggles of finding the needed support from their partners at a faster rate.
Our branding process is based on the Design Sprint process and takes 7 weeks. As the Design Sprint is a five-day process, it represents only one week in our process and all the other ones are similar to it.
In March, a non-profit organization from the UK called Mindsum came to us to build their website from scratch. They focus on providing the right information and support for the mental health of children and young people through technology.
In this article, we’ll present to you how we gathered the whole Mindsum team and how we tested the assumptions that we had during the Design Sprint week.
Our challenges from Brand Sprint
The first week in our process is when we get ready and have our first workshop called Brand Sprint. This workshop is also based on the original one, but we added more exercises to it that helps us learn more about the audience and write the brand messaging together with the client in 3 hours.
When we did the Brand Sprint workshop with Mindsum we found out that:
- The audience’s pain points and wishes clearly stated that they need an all-in-one solution to get all the mental health help they need in one place. We needed to make this very clear through the messaging and the sections we were going to create on the website.
- When we looked over the competitive landscape, one of the advantages they had over the competition was again that they provide an all-in-one solution. It was clear this was a big focus for us.
- When we wrote the brand messaging with the client’s team, it not only became clear it needed to be empathetic, but it also showed us the words we needed to use. This makes it so much easier than starting from scratch or having some words like “welcoming” or “calming” to describe the tone of voice we need to use. At the end of it, we already have some important headings that we can paste on the website.
We work remotely so if you’re wondering about the software we use, we conduct our video calls on Whereby and we used a virtual board called Miro.
Day 1 — The Workshop
On day one of Design Sprint week, we started with the How Might We exercise and then we established The Long-Term Goal and Sprint Questions:
After that, we placed the How Might We Questions on the map. The Map exercise shows you the areas and objectives you need to focus on when building the prototype. You can see in the image below that we already got to know the most important information and sections that needed to be on the website:
- Besides the usual things that a website needs to show such as the features and benefits of the platform, sign up process, and testimonials, we found out that we had to be careful at showing that they help parents too, not just young people under 24 years old.
- We also needed to figure out some ways to show that mental health professionals can, and should, join their team, while also speaking to young people (under 16 years old), young adults (16–24 years old), parents and their children.
Day 2 — The Concepts
After the Design Sprint workshop on Monday, we created the concepts of the prototype. For Mindsum, we needed to figure out a way to create the most important sections we discovered in the Map exercise:
- To show that Mindsum is for parents and young people too, we created a section that’s as wide as the screen to make it very visible and also split it into two audiences to choose from.
- We thought of creating a section to show the mental health professionals who work at Mindsum and all the mental health conditions they can help with. This helps young people and parents get to know the people they’re going to speak to which earns a lot of trusts. We also added a secondary CTA for the therapists to join the team that goes to a page created especially for them with all the info they need to know before signing up. This way, we made it easier to speak to the people Mindsum helps and the therapists who can join their team.
Day 3 — The Prototype
At this point, we already had a very clear structure of the website that we could start to prototype. Because we have just one day to do this, we have some tricks to help us move fast:
- We used templates (we use Platforma) and didn’t think about the colours or the typography at this point. The navigation and the messaging were the things that we cared about during this week.
- The images used needed to only support the messaging. We just experimented to see what can work and what can not. You don’t know exactly what type of images can help you at this early stage of the process (use free images from Unsplash or Pexels).
Day 4 — Team’s Feedback
On Thursday we asked the client’s team for feedback on the prototype during a short feedback workshop. We always look forward to this call because we want to see if we missed something before testing with the user testers the next day on Friday.
The feedback we got helped us see that it was a problem with the images we were using, especially with the hero image, they didn’t correctly illustrate the audience or what they’re doing.
Day 5 — User Testing Call
When we tested with the users during the collaboration we had with Mindsum, we noticed some challenges we didn’t think of:
- The user was concerned a lot about why they do so much for free and what is the catch.
- We discovered that the illustrations needed to be less judgmental, less expressive; they transmitted the wrong message about the mental health conditions.
- Some of the people in the images we used were smiling too much. It made the user feel like they weren’t understood, they felt like Mindsum doesn’t get how they feel, which takes away from the trust we’re trying to build with the audience.
At the same time, some questions were answered including the Sprint Questions during the user testing calls:
- One of our concerns was that people won’t understand at first glance that Mindsum helps young people and their parents too, but they saw that section on the home page and understood immediately to whom it was being addressed.
- They noticed the section that we’ve made for the therapists and understood that every therapist is specialized in a specific mental health condition (ADHD, Depression, Anxiety, etc.)
- There was also a big concern, that people may not understand how the platform works or what they do. Because Mindsum does so many things, we had to be careful to not overwhelm people with information, but the user testers understood what it was about and how it works.
What was next
As we said before, the Design Sprint week is the 2nd in our 7-weeks process. What was next for us was to add personality to the website and brand in the 3rd week and iterate in the design and finish it in the 4th week. These two weeks are very similar to the Design Sprint, we still do user testings and workshops to prioritize the feedback and see what we need to improve.
Then we have the 5th and 6th week to develop the website very fast with Webflow, and the 7th week to wrap up everything we did and send it to the client.
We and our clients love the Design Sprint process. It allows us to bring all the key elements and people together and get things done very fast.
The client’s team considered that solutions were found instantly, here’s what the director of Mindsum had to say:
“I really loved the way workshops were conducted, because they involved all stakeholders. Challenges were narrowed down and solutions were found almost instantly. Workshops were like creativity on steroids.
I never worked with any other company or team where I felt so relaxed. It was all because you were doing all the heavy lifting.
If you want to get the job to the highest standard of quality, with 10 times less hassle or pain, and 10 times faster, go and talk to Brandenstein.”
- Fareed Baloch, Management, Mindsum
Thanks for reading!