The Google Design Sprint in Actionby@mikesmolenski
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The Google Design Sprint in Action

by Michael SmolenskiDecember 22nd, 2018
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We wanted to create an app design for our new project, <a href="" target="_blank">Fanbase</a>. To rapidly produce a design in one week, so we decided to try out the <a href="" target="_blank">GV Design Sprint</a>. This is how we went…
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The Fanbase Design

We wanted to create an app design for our new project, Fanbase. To rapidly produce a design in one week, so we decided to try out the GV Design Sprint. This is how we went…

Fanbase is an application for bringing content control to musicians and rewarding their fans. It is a Decentralized App (dApp) developed to run on the Lightstreams blockchain.

The Design Sprint is described as a shortcut to learning, the idea is that a team does not have to launch their product in order to test out their ideas.

By using a Design Sprint to validate Fanbase, we asked ourselves important questions, worked across teams to make sure we weren’t building biases into our product, and eventually tested the final design outcome.

The Design Sprint is a 5-day process.


We defined the goals of our 5-day process. We mapped a successful customer journey. We engaged experts and built our collective knowledge, redefining our map as we went. After all, without input from the industry on needs they see, and fan frustrations they know intimately, we cannot build the best experience for artists and fans. We also decided on a customer target and focused on that customer the rest of the week.

The long-term goal of Fanbase is to be a scalable, consumer-facing dApp that can spread virally — so it needs to be easy to use and attractive to fans, offering them a superior experience to the current centralized sites. It must also help artists reach out directly to fans.

Core Reasons for Building Fanbase

When we began the sprint, we recognized that’s the core reason we’re building Fanbase: we want to bring artists and fans closer together. There shouldn’t be the a-typical social media site in between them. Artists should be able to share content with fans directly and fans should be able to share their content, communicate with fellow fans, and be rewarded for their loyalty directly by artists. When Fanbase launches, it will be an artist-based community, run like Reddit, where trolls are managed and users can interact based on tiers. They can also be rewarded for popular content they submit.


All our team members sketched out their solutions in four stages, from research to doodling, brainstorming rapid variations, and finally working out the details.

Three teams put their heads together to devise creative solutions for their target users.


The entire team chose a winning design and everyone developed a storyboard showing the structure of the app journey and landing pages within Fanbase.


We got to work! Our fourth day was dedicated to building a realistic prototype that could be used and tested by users.


We took our prototype to fans and interviewed them one-on-one for their reactions. This helped us capture ideas and move forward building the best user experience for fans and artists. We’re excited that our MVP will incorporate all of the learning from our successful Design Sprint!


We found undertaking the Design Sprint has helped us focus on a user experience that quickly satisfies the goals of the project and helps avoid wasting a whole lot of time building features that may be of no use. It also helped our team better collaborate, allowing all members input and quickly forming a design consensus.

I hope this has been an informative post and if you would like to follow our progress with Fanbase, please subscribe to our newsletter.

Michael SmolenskiCEO Lightstreams