Design Thinking

Redefine Your Problem and Create Velocity With Design Thinking

Design thinking is a mindset and a framework that leverages user empathy, problem definition, concept ideation, prototyping, and usability testing to achieve insights and findings in a short amount of time. UpTop is a firm believer and practitioner of design thinking. This approach is how we drive velocity for our clients, delivering value and not artifacts. It is the foundation for our Design Sprint and UX Strategy Sprint, compared below, where design thinking is applied in structured phases to help kickstart your projects. While they are different in scope, both sprints will help to align your team around a common goal, identify solutions with the highest impact, and provide you with actionable insights to move forward with confidence.

Key Benefits

  • Understand. Learn about your users needs
  • Define. Identify what problems to solve
  • Diverge. Brainstorm individually to generate diverse ideas
  • Decide. Consider all ideas and agree on where to focus
  • Prototype. Create a mock-up of the solution to test with users
  • Test. Validate if the prototype offers an optimal solution and iterate if necessary

Design Sprint
If you’re tasked with solving a defined problem but you’re not sure where to begin, our 5 day Design Sprint is a great way to ideate and test solutions quickly.
UX Envisioning Sprint
If your idea needs clarity, our ~8-week UX Envisioning Sprint provides alignment and a North Star vision. 
UX Strategy Sprint
If a problem is large with little research done, our ~10-week UX Strategy Sprint provides alignment and a roadmap to reach your North Star vision.
Complex problem No Yes Yes
Additional Research needed No Yes Yes
Prototype Paper or digital prototype of one solution Mid - high fidelity prototype with "Happy Path" (80% of core features and functionality critical to users) Mid - high fidelity prototype with "Happy Path" (80% of core features and functionality critical to users)
North Star vision No Yes Yes
Recommendations Yes No Yes
UX roadmap No No Yes
Sprint length 5 day workshop ~8 weeks with 2 - 3 day workshop ~10 weeks with 2 - 3 day workshop
Participants 5 - 8 5 - 8 5 - 8
Usability testing Lean usability testing No R.I.T.E. usability testing
Design iteration No Yes Yes
Alignment Yes Yes Yes
Solution ideation Yes Yes Yes
Prioritized features No No Yes
Design Sprint
Ideate and test solutions quickly in this 5-day sprint.

Complex problem No
Additional Research needed No
Prototype Paper or digital prototype of one solution
North Star vision No
Recommendations Yes
UX roadmap No
Sprint length 5 day workshop
Yes 5 - 8
Usability testing Lean usability testing
Design iteration No
Alignment Yes
Solution ideation Yes
Prioritized features No
UX Envisioning Sprint
If your idea needs clarity, our ~8-week UX Envisioning Sprint provides alignment and a North Star vision. 
Complex problem Yes
Additional Research needed Yes
Prototype Mid - high fidelity prototype with "Happy Path" (80% of core features and functionality critical to users)
North Star vision Yes
Recommendations No
UX roadmap No
Sprint length ~8 weeks with 2 - 3 day workshop
Participants 5 - 8
Usability testing No
Design iteration Yes
Alignment Yes
Solution ideation Yes
Prioritized features No
UX Strategy Sprint
Tackle complex problems in this ~ 10-week sprint.

Complex problem Yes
Additional Research needed Yes
Prototype Mid - high fidelity prototype with "Happy Path" (80% of core features and functionality critical to users)
North Star vision Yes
Recommendations Yes
UX roadmap Yes
Sprint length ~10 weeks with 2 - 3 day workshop
Participants 5 - 8
Usability testing R.I.T.E. usability testing
Design iteration Yes
Alignment Yes
Solution ideation Yes
Prioritized features Yes

Design Thinking Outcomes

Define your problem
Create internal alignment
Generate mass ideas
Prioritize opportunities
Create tangible prototypes
Validate your hypotheses
Generate a Northstar vision 
Create a design strategy and roadmap
Evangelize your vision 

Success Stories: UpTop

F5

Taking a user centered approach to the redesign of F5's navigation, UpTop utilized UX research methods to categorized and label the site so that it makes sense to their core audience.

F5

Taking a user centered approach to the redesign of F5's navigation, UpTop utilized UX research methods to categorized and label the site so that it makes sense to their core audience.
"UpTop has a wide range of capabilities. They had the rare ability to not only keep up with our speed but also bring unique and innovative ideas to the table. Their well of creativity never dried out in my experience. During the early stages of our product, they designed an excellent UX, then completely reinvented the product when we needed a refresh six months later."
– Katie Spring, Sr. Business Program Manager, Microsoft

On The Blog: Design Thinking

Driving Business Growth With UX Strategy

Results by Design: UX Insights for Business Leaders Introductory Episode: In the inaugural episode of our series, we dive into the realm of User Experience (UX) design and strategies, shedding light o...
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