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Design Sprint with Connected Senses

Article by

Anna Lindberg Malmström & Stephanie Flodman

Published in

Design Sprint, UX/UI, Innovation

We have recently completed an intense (and fun!) design sprint with the fitness/rehab startup Connected Senses. They have developed a system that measures static strength of muscles with quick analysis from a smartphone or computer. The product can be set up at various training devices, centers, rehab clinics, etc. This enables Connected Senses to create a digital bridge between the client, their progress and the coach.

The sprint team consisted of; Raj (CEO Connected Senses), Joel (UX designer at Split Stockholm), Erik (Frontend/Android developer at Split Stockholm), Alexandra (UX/UI designer at Dynamo) and Anna (Visual designer at Dynamo).

design sprint dynamo

During these five days we did expert interviews with physiotherapists, personal trainers, naprapaths etc, generated and sketched ideas, drew storyboards and eventually built a prototype InVision. In the prototype we wanted to test how to present the data (gathered from the system developed by Connected Senses) to pro users (there will also be a basic version focused on the average gym visitor).

The prototype was tested on four different pro users and the outcome was overall very satisfying. It reassures us that Connected Senses are on the right track and that they will have a bright future ahead of them. Dynamo would like to take the opportunity to thank team Connected Senses for a fun and enlightening week and wishes them all the best on their future journey!

Do you want to know more about Connected Senses? Read the interview with CEO Raj below.

What is a Product Design Sprint?

A design sprint is a five day process developed by Google Ventures to answer critical business questions, gather ideas, designing, prototyping and on day five, testing them on users. It’s a very structured process that saves time, money and gives you an early hint about the direction of your product. In short this is the design sprint schedule:

Monday -Map

Gather and present as much information as possible to everyone involved. Then create a 1-liner or an elevator pitch of the problem the team is trying to solve and define the target audience.

Tuesday -Sketch

The goal for Tuesday is to generate ideas and concepts through a series of timed exercises such as Crazy-8, 3-panel storyboards, and word clouds.

Wednesday -Decide

At this point, it’s time to distill the outcome of Tuesday into one or a few user flows that seem to solve the problem best. Then it’s time to draw a giant storyboard that captures the user journey that you have decided on.

Thursday -Prototype

On Thursday you have reached the point of prototyping. Today is also the time to do all the preparations for the testing on Friday.

Friday -Test

Now it’s time to test the prototype with the users. While one of you ask questions the rest of the team sits in another room, streaming the interview and taking notes so you don’t forget anything important. After testing it’s important to have a debrief to sum up what worked and not, and what the roadmap ahead should be.

design sprint process

Interview with Raj (CEO of Connected Senses)

At the beginning of the summer, Dynamo had a design sprint contest. Startups could apply with a pitch as well as their motivation to why they wanted to win a design sprint with us. We received many strong contributions but chose Connected Senses as winners – an IoT solution for the rehab market, because we believe this service can help many people in pain today. This is a short interview of Raj and Venkat, the founders of Connected Senses.

Raj & Venkat, tell us a bit about yourselves

We are two engineers from Southern India. We came to Sweden during autumn, 2010 to do our master’s degree in Radio communication at Blekinge Institute of Technology. We were able to complete our master’s degree in the best way possible with an exciting thesis at KTH with Astra Zeneca, 2013.

What happened after your project at KTH and Astra Zeneca?

The thesis work went well and our project became a good prototype. We were happy and proud of ourselves. At that point, we decided that the health sector is an area we want to work with in the future. Our supervisor told us that our thesis project was a good idea, and that we should start our own company. However, we chose not to proceed with that idea later.

Why did you want to become entrepreneurs?

I (Raj) got very nervous about the thought of going to job interviews, and I convinced Venkat that it was a good idea to drive our own startup instead. Now, we can not think of a better option that we could have chosen. With entrepreneurship, you have the opportunity to give back to society and you get a good opportunity to bet on yourself and shoulder a big responsibility.

Tell us more about your startup Connected Senses

Today’s technologies are changing, developing and growing rapidly. We noticed a health trend and how people, users, want information to improve their workout or muscular activity. Connected Senses wants to make use of that to deliver a healthier life to everyone. At present, there are different sensors or products that measure heart rate, blood pressure, steps, calories, etc.

However, these services miss out on the information about the muscular activities required for an effective exercise or rehabilitation program. Therefore, at Connected Senses, we are developing a system that measures static strength of various muscles with instant analysis from a smartphone or computer. The product can be set up at various training centers, rehab clinics, etc. This enables us to create a digital bridge between the client, their progress and the trainer.

Why the rehab market?

In mid-2014 we met two researchers in the sports and rehabilitation area, and this was when the idea was born. Even with the growing health trend, we saw an information gap between the client and the coach which made rehabilitation programs less efficient and more time consuming. We saw the opportunity to fill the gap and help people to rehabilitate and become stronger in a short span of time.

Where do you see Connected Senses in 5 years?

We see ourselves as an established fitness company with a consumer focus that creates an interactive and healthy society.

What tips and tricks do you have for other startups?

It’s easy to to dream, but it takes passion to actually follow the dream. You, as entrepreneurs, will make mistakes but these mistakes are your proof that you tried and dared to take the risk. You have made the choice to be unique. Be inspired by others and learn from others’ mistakes.

What do you want to achieve with the design sprint at Dynamo?

We have always wanted to create a product that is very easy to use. Dynamo’s design sprint can help us to get a step closer to an user-centric service which also encourage the users to follow their programs.

Short info about the founders of Connected Senses:

Raj is 28 years old and has a master’s degree in Radio Communication from Blekinge University of Technology (BTH). He has lived in Sweden for 7 years and speaks Tamil, English and Swedish. He is also an iOS developer as well as a startup enthusiast. He spends a lot of free time on networking, social media, training and badminton. He also organizes and volunteers at Startup weekend and similar hackathon events in the Stockholm area. If you want to know more, contact him on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Venkat is 29 years old with a master’s degree in Radio Communication from Blekinge University of Technology (BTH). He is an experienced iOS developer and has founded Connected Senses together with Raj. Venkat loves technology. If you want to know more, contact him on Facebook or LinkedIn.