Once we have identified potential solutions to a design problem, it’s time to validate the ideas and the potential impact. It is very helpful, if not necessary, to bring clients into the process so they can contribute ideas early, understand that it’s OK to be wrong initially and see rapid results from the outset.

How do we?

  • Engage stakeholders early
  • Help them adopt an experimental mindset
  • Bootstrap a concept into something resembling a first deliverable

Through collaborative prototyping, we include clients at the very start of the design conversation while easing them into the idea that not everything will be right the first time. They have a say in the first iteration, and see something produced in real time that will inform the design direction of the product or service.

In kicking off many design efforts, my team and I have experimented with different ways of co-creating with the client. Full-length design sprints do this but are not always practical, necessary or affordable. However, there are some great playbook methods therein for shorter engagements. We'll look at some of these and see when they might be most effective.


Jeff Blanchard has been designing products and services in various capacities for the better part of 20 years. He loves working with clients through complex problems, engaging them in the work, and enabling them to add their voice to the design.

His drive to experiment, learn rapidly through dialog and be inclusive of multiple perspectives comes from founding or being part of several startups and small, growth oriented companies. These environments demand trying new things, pivoting from what doesn't create traction, and using all available resources at hand. And a lot of hustle.

He leads experimentation and lean design efforts within his employer’s CX practice, and he’s found that collaborative working sessions are highly beneficial, if not critical, to project success.