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U.S. Navy

Better decisions through protosketching

Summary

To introduce the Navy Reserve's Ready-2-Serve (R2S) project team to modern development practices and technologies, we implemented a mobile website in a single afternoon that mocked the functionality of what was really needed. This enabled critical design and technology decisions to be made rapidly.

Illustration of a website being prototyped on a laptop.

The challenge

The Navy Reserve had a critical need to improve the digital experience of sailors writing orders for their reserve duties. Making this functionality accessible via mobile devices was a critical requirement, but whether to do this via native mobile apps or responsive web design remained an open question.

The solution

Using a technique that we pioneered, called "protosketching," we broke the afternoon into three sprints of one hour each. In this space of time, we were able to quickly write user stories that were acted upon by our programmers in the protosketching session to complete a functional mock-up in three hours. This allowed the Navy to make informed decisions on the mobile product strategy for R2S.

The results

Major project decisions were de-risked at relatively low cost.