Case Studies

How Google Design Sprint helped design the concept for financial applications for the generation Z

Google Desing Sprint

Two teams. Five business days. Lots of ideas. One goal – to create the concept for a new financial application for the generation Z.

We began as usual – with a discussion about the future of the financial industry and a niche on the market of solutions targeted at generation Z after a recently completed joint project in the fintech area.

And we ended with a decision on the weekly Design Sprint, where, together with Maja and Maciej from the codeheroes team, we decided to develop a banking application concept for the generation Z.

Effects? You can see them on our Behance profile, for example. And about how Design Sprint itself went, you will learn from the following case study.

Internal project
To create the concept for banking mobile app within one week
Coop. period
October 2017
Number of sprints
Number of people in the project

Design Sprint – why? What is our goal?

Before each Design Sprint, it’s worth answering two questions:

  • why do we decide on Design Sprint instead of another method?;
  • and what is our goal, what we want to achieve?

Our motivation was clear – we wanted to explore the world of generation Z, develop the concept and test it together with the young generation in order to verify our ideas for solutions for this segment and share the conclusions with our clients. We had many thoughts and many conversations behind us…that’s why we decided to use the Google Design Sprint method (read more about Google Design Sprint here) to speed up the decision-making process which concept could be right, and just validate it with potential recipients.

Who is the generation Z anyway?

Generation Z refers to people born in 1997 and later (although you may also find definitions covering the years 1995 or 2000, hence it’s worth paying attention to the characteristics).

They are said to be “born with a smartphone in their hands,” because they’ve been living in the world of technology since they were a child, and they don’t see the divide between the offline and online world – for them it’s just one space. Their communication is based on a lot of emoticons, gifs, is concise and very visual.

What does this mean for mobile application developers and, moreover, for the entire industry? You can find it out from our article “We are designing an application for generation Z”.

Anyone on board who can fly a plane? – Google Design Sprint planning and process

Based on the classic Google Design Sprint plan, we’ve prepared our own work schedule:

Google Desing Sprint

Day I – Problem mapping & Initial testing

During the workshops, we outlined the problems we were able to define, which related to the financial and banking industry as well as solutions for the young generation. One of them was the lack of financial applications really well suited to the needs of Generation Z (that was our hypothesis at that moment).

We’ve also mapped the benefits for the banking sector of creating a good solution:

  • building the first solution really tailored to the young generation (innovative & pioneering approach),
  • acquiring a new target group, future customers of the bank, already at the beginning of their contact with finance,
  • exploiting the potential of PSD2.

We also specified the target group (“who is the generation Z?”), posing hypotheses for research (which we wanted to verify) and faced the first challenge – how to get our recipients for research that was to take place in the second half of the day and throughout the next day?


Day II – Research with the target group (when the conversation lost to Messenger) & generating ideas

After the first day and several interviews conducted stationary and on Skype, we knew: this is not the way. We felt that this method of conducting research didn’t work for this generation, and using the advice of our young advisers (representatives of this generation), we decided to … recruit research participants on Facebook groups for the young generation and interview them via Messenger, which turned out to be a much more “natural” environment.

Google Desing Sprint

Results? Amazing!

  • we got much more honest answers,
  • we had constant access to respondents – we could come back and ask at any time,
  • we had specific quotes as well, which allowed us to easily build appropriate communication and use the right vocabulary in our solution.

What were the most common answers?

  • the most frequently used and most valued applications are Messenger (constant, quick contact with friends) and Snapchat (“one-click app”, a one-button application – clear and easy to use);
  • sharing the moment is very important for them (Snapchat, InstaStories);
  • communication without “the triumph of form over content” – all banks are “so serious”, nobody speaks a language they understand;
  • they would like to use new solutions in a familiar environment (chatbot on Messenger?) or patterns they know;
  • new tools “just have to be cool”.
    So, after a series of interviews (over a dozen interviews within 24h!), a short survey and summary, we attempted to develop the concept.

Day III & IV – Solution design & Prototype

We started the next stage by discussing the ideas created after the interview summarizing session. We reviewed them and voted for the best ones (according to our knowledge of users) to define the final concept.

We decided on a mobile app (which was partially paired with the parents’ app), also controlled by a chatbot on Messenger, which was to facilitate the use of basic functions.

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    What was the application supposed to allow?

    • quick transfer of money to people on the contact list (without having to provide an account number – a mechanism known from Revolut),
    • lending small amounts to friends & collecting debts;
    • asking parents for pocket money/money for a specific purpose.
    Google Desing Sprint

    Source: Dribbble

    Similar functions were to be applied in our chatbot, which you can check on the
    test fanpage.

    So, during this stage:

    • we created the application design;
    • we came up with the name “Hajsy DOSHły”;
    Google Desing Sprint
    • we designed the chatbot (and its personality!);
    • promotion strategy;
    • and materials for it;
    • And we were testing all this on a regular basis.

    Day V – Testing (using a promotional campaign)

    We finished our Google Design Sprint  with an interactive app prototype, a working chatbot prototype on our fanpage, a website describing the business aspect from a business and bank perspective, and a concept of a promotional campaign based on the Lean Marketing Sprint (if you are interested in the Lean Marketing Sprint method, feel free to read our two case studies that describe it in practice; you will find the above mentioned case studies here and here), which, by increasing the popularity of the application, was to allow wider access to the target group and testing the solution.

    It’s probably quite a lot for 5 days of work, isn’t it

    Google Desing Sprint

    During the whole week we were able to collect huge amounts of information, and thanks to constant contact with the target group via various channels, we got to know its needs and…we discovered that the potential is even greater than we thought.

    The results from our Google Design Sprint were an inspiration for projects with our clients from the financial sector, and the prototype perfectly illustrated them as well.


    And what if you could make a prototype within 5 days…? – when it makes sense

    Google Design Sprint is a very useful method, especially in several situations:

    • if your team has been discussing for a long time and you feel that you can’t make decisions and move forward (Google Design Sprint “forces” various exercises to make decisions and…validate them quickly);

    • if you need to create a quick prototype (in order to present to investors or management, for example) and pre-test it with customers (this method allows to build a simple concept that will test key assumptions and allow your idea to be seen by those interested);
    • if you have a few ideas and would like to verify them quickly (Google Design Sprint was created for this purpose :)).


    It is worth remembering that the main goal of Google Design Sprint is to shorten the decision making process by building a concept of the solution (and not the entire product) in order to verify the assumptions.

    The process itself can be fast (from 5 – as described above – up to 20 business days), however, it’s very engaging – it requires a full team focus only on this thread for up to 5 days. 5 days, after which we will get priceless answers.


    Work weekend


    People participating in Google Design Sprint


    Interviews conducted

    Tools & methods

    • Google Design Sprint
    • The Wizard of Oz – experiment

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    Project team, i.e. who was responsible for what

    Author of the Case Study

    Joanna Ostafin CEO & Co-founder @ Project: People
    She starts most of her conversations by saying "I have an idea". Joanna is a serial initiator and co-founder of many organizations, brands, and communities. On a daily basis, she is a CEO at Project: People and develops the DesignWays brand.

    Co-founder of Project: People, Project: Values, DesignWays Conf, and DesignWays Hub. She has created several communities, including the Krakowska Inicjatywa Designerska [Krakow Design Initiative] and the Product Culture Community.

    She enjoys sharing her knowledge during workshops and conferences - she was a speaker at Grafconf, the UX in Business Conference, Mobile Trends Conference, ProductCamp, Bitspiration, and many others. She is a lecturer at the Tischner European University and WSB Universities. Author of the “+25 to workshop equipment” e-book.

    Totally in love with the lean approach, especially Lean Startup & Lean UX. Big fan of educational projects, workshops, Product Discovery process, and... people. Privately an amateur of street workout and obstacle races.

    Other members of the team

    Beata Mosór-Szyszka Co-Owner & Managing Partner w Project: People
    Beata is a serial entrepreneur, co-founder & managing partner at Project: People and Project: Values, and CEO of Hermes & Partner cooperatives. She is also an investor at ProEco Leaders foundation, co-author of The LiGHT Book (together with et al. Phillip Zimbardo, Robert Cialdini), and the author of diverse business tools (e.g. Values Poker, Lean Marketing Sprint).

    Beata is a strategist, marketer and lean consultant with over 14 years of experience in the international market. She has cooperated with companies such as Sabre, T-Mobile and Google. She shares her knowledge and experience as a mentor in acceleration programs (like EIT Digital, Google LaunchPad), and as a lecturer at Tischner European University & WSB University in Gdańsk.

    Project: People is a lean strategy agency that Beata established together with Joanna Ostafin in 2016. The company gained more than 160 clients from 16 countries in just 4 years (2016-2020), has 18 people on board, and achieves impressive growth of 200% Y2Y.

    Beata built the females-first organizations, where ~60-75% of team members are women. She is also open to investing in the female businesses with a vision.

    As a speaker, Beata performs at Polish and international conferences (e.g. Lean Startup Days Paris, VC night by Viva Technology, Open Living Lab, Product Marketing Summit London).