200 SME Challenge
Pursuing optimal design and user experience of digital products is key for companies to stay competitive in the market. User-centered design techniques inspired by design thinking–such as the “Design Sprint”–have the potential of substantially improving the quality of digital products design. Yet, many SMEs are not aware of the added value of these techniques and are not equipped to adopt them.
The 200SMEchallenge project aims at providing evidence about the feasibility for innovation agencies of activating and making available to a set of European SMEs a 2-day Design Sprint initiative (“UX Challenge”, User eXperience Challenge) coming in the format of an innovation contest. The initiative is intended to impact companies’ awareness about the benefits of user-centered design.
The project features a randomized controlled trial evaluation, which was conducted 200 SMEs based in seven EU regions: Trentino (Italy), Karlsruhe (Germany), Oulu (Finland), Vilnius (Lithuania), Castellon (Spain) Tallinn (Estonia), Copenhagen (Denmark). The project, led by Hub Innovazione Trentino, was funded by the European Commission (Grant Agreement number: 824212 — 200SMEchallenge — H2020-INNOSUP-2018-2020).
SMEs representatives who took part in the UX-Challenge showed a 19% higher knowledge of Design Sprint and a 12% higher knowledge of how to implement digital design relative to control group subjects, who did not participate in the Challenge. The treatment group also had a 6% higher self-perceived general knowledge about methodologies such as user centered design, design thinking and Design Sprint – although this difference was not statistically significant.
Overall, the results of the randomized controlled trial suggest that the UX Challenge is a promising way to improve participants’ objective and practical knowledge about Design Sprint and digital design.