Design Sprint for Checkout Project

Berlin, November, 2017 | @smava GmbH | real project



I worked as a UX Designer for Smava, Germany's leading loan portal making personal loans transparent, fair, and affordable for consumers.



  1. The business team wanted to reduce their average CPA (cost per acquisition.)

  2. The investigation into breakdown of costs revealed most significant aspect was customer advisor involvement in the majority of sales (expensive human-in-loop.)

  3. User research confirmed that people needed support because they couldn’t complete from the process by themselves due it being confusing and too complicated.


The existing checkout process includes four steps: verification, identification, contract signage, and bank-approval. The user had to go through four steps to finally get the desired loan. The process was not very user-friendly and also varied for each bank, with varying document requirements and differing online/offline capabilities.



Define a user-centric checkout process which prioritizes digital flows over the offline ones, encouraging (and empowering) users to complete the process without human support.



I worked on this project as a UX Designer, partnered with Product Owner and Developers.



To determine how to best proceed, we ran a Google Design Sprint to identify possible solutions. We narrowed it down three designs and tested them using prototypes. We then selected one to implement. User-research and engineering were also present to make sure we understood the constraints.



Design Sprint


  • Frederik - User Researcher

  • Frederico - UX Designer

  • Jeshurun - Product Manager

  • Ting-Yin (Me) - UX Designer

  • Hila - Moderator



Sprint Stats

Methods Used

  • Lightning Talks

  • Empathy Map

  • HMW's

  • User Flow

  • Crazy 8s

  • Storyboards

  • Clickable Prototypes

  • Usability Tests

Team Size
5 participants

No. of Days
2 days

Sprint Type


Lightning Talks

The current solution is not intuitive enough to allow most user to complete themselves. The process only works through the intervention of human credit advisers contacting the users during the process. This is not ideal from the users' point of view but also introduces additional cost into our business model since it limits scalability.



Define a user-centric checkout process which prioritizes digital flows over the offline ones, encouraging (and empowering) users to complete the process without human support.


Empathy Map

Each participant created an empathy map to help us better understand our users. After that we used heap mapping to identify pain points and potential gains.


HMW's - ideation

Each participant listed 'How Might We' notes. After that, we grouped similar ideas together, and for each group, listed key opportunities for improvement.


User Flow

To make sure everyone understood all steps of the checkout process, the reasoning, logic flow, and constraints.


Crazy 8s and Wire-framing

Each participant sketched a three-panel storyboard on paper. We then came back together and explained our  ideas to the rest of the room.



The group selected one wireframe to further develop. We then broke into groups again to develop their own storyboard.


Storyboard by me


Clickable Prototype

We presented our work to the other participants and, again, as a group, selected one to further develop into a prototype.


Usability Test

We invited five colleagues who were not familiar with the product. Most of them understood the tasks and were able to easily complete them. There were of course some minor issues but the main ideas were now clear.


Results and minor issues:

  • + is useful (maybe necessary) to emphasize the action

  • Personal salutation would be nice

  • X (close button) increases insecurity -> progress aborted?


How I think we could do better?

Lots of the negative user feedback was caused by unclear copywriting. We certainly would benefit from a UX copywriter to help us.


How I think about Design Sprint?

In conclusion, I would say one of the most significant benefits of using Design Sprint is to bring people together and give them a shared definition of success. Through running this design sprint, the team now sees the values of learning from other departments, and how their work might affect others. It also helps everyone to fully understand the logic behind the concept.

On the other hand, most people want to be the decision maker, that’s where the design sprint comes in.  Most decision makers don’t have the ability to translate ideas into something tangible, which is why having designers in the design sprint is essential. The wireframes that designers create during the design sprint help other people to easily provide feedback and discuss with each other. Moreover, everyone will feel they are involved in the decision making process.



Click here to see the design progress.





Thank you for reading.