One of our most popular series of events over the last year has been Harnessing Disruption. Following the success of the last three, we saw the fourth in the series on 20th November, which as with previous Harnessing Disruption events was orchestrated around the topic of disruption in media.

Joining us were 3 fantastic speakers, Chris Maples former VP of Spotify Europe, Nick Haley Director of UX at The Guardian and Prashanth Naidu founder of startup Rezonence. By 6:30 a superb audience of over fifty people had piled in through the Adaptive Lab HQ doors to be greeted by flowing wine, craft beers and Filipino tacos - the night was in full swing!

This video features Nick Haley, Director of UX at The Guardian and his talk “The only way out is through”.

Nick discussed the topic of testing ideas quickly, inspired by Google Ventures’ Design Sprints. This programme, which we also do with our clients, was designed to help the startups they’ve backed run an intense 5 day programme to rapidly develop new products or features and test them with a target audience. Nick’s view was that not all ideas will work, so teams should “get faster to find out if it works” and had upped the pace of the sprints his team conducted, running them over a 4 day period.

For one project Nick and his team came up with a staggering 103 ideas by the end of day 1. On day 2 his team selected the best and began hacking away to bring a smaller selection of those ideas to life. By day 3 they’d started testing. Testers were recruited via The Guardian site with a simple call to help banner. For one project 350 people volunteered from across the globe. Recruiting international testers has several advantages. Firstly it’s reflective of the entire readership which goes beyond the UK borders adding to the richness of feedback to further refine the product. Secondly it’s hugely resourceful because whilst the UK testers (and the UX team) are asleep, US testers are busy trying out the product idea, maximising utilisation of the short time frame that the 4 day process thrives on.

Speed + Focus = Momentum.

Nick is a huge advocate of frequent iteration, believing it helps fine tune a product. He and his team pride themselves on the possibility of quickly creating something that people want to use. But rest assured this intense process is not for precious people, as it can be uncomfortable and doubtful at times especially when you see your ideas ripped apart or cast aside. To embark on it successfully team members need to be open to iterations, leaving their egos behind. If that can be done then you’re set to get something hugely rewarding at the end.

Disruptive working like this is a hugely resourceful and practical way of moving projects forward. It inspires a multitude of ideas and focuses a team which not only makes for a satisfying process, but that aligns with the fast paced digital era in which businesses operate.

If you would like to be a part of our next event then email events@adaptivelab.com and we will get you signed up to our calendar so you never have to miss out again!