Allround Stories

How Design Thinking & Design Sprints Enhance the Innovation Process for Our Clients

Often misused as a buzz word, the concept of Design Thinking has already become a corporate philosophy. Design Thinking allows you to create fitting products or services for specific user groups. The focus is always on the users in all steps, methods and clear actions.

Marie and Marvin
October 2020

How do we handle this? As one of various methods used in the Design Thinking process, Allround conducts Design Sprints with various clients. The methodology, initially developed by Jake Knapp at Google Ventures, pursues the ambitious goal of being able to judge the success of a potential product at an early stage – without tedious and cost-intensive development processes.

During the development of the method, Knapp was looking for an efficient way to shorten development cycles of new products, quickly generate user feedback and thus enable decision-makers to estimate the success of a product or service. The result was a working concept that was first applied successfully in innovation processes within Google Ventures, but soon also in renowned companies around the world. In keeping with the design-doing mentality, the sprint process is being adapted and developed constantly.

The classic Design Sprint is an intensive five-day workshop in which an interdisciplinary team from various departments of a company works together to face a challenge. The result of the process is not only a concept for a possible product, but also a first prototype, that is already tested, through which valuable user feedback is collected.

The prototypes in the Design Sprint process do not simply aim to show the entire functional spectrum of a product as an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), but rather fulfill the trend-setting purpose of giving users an impression of the potential product in a short time and enabling them to gain insight. To this end, the Design Sprint, after a two-day workshop phase and subsequent prototyping, is followed by a day of user tests, during which concept validation takes place and concrete next steps for product development can be derived.

In this process, the Design Sprint relies on working principles that are specially adapted to the intensive innovation processes – literally sprints. The whole process is divided into short time slots; for each of the short process steps there is only a limited time slot planned, which everyone is reminded of by a timer in the (in times of COVID-19 also digital) room. As a presumed “final opponent” of innovation processes and progress, classic meeting situations are avoided wherever possible. Never-ending discussions are replaced by work following the “Together-Alone”-principle: everyone works at the same time, but alone, on the same task. The outcome is always a physical representation in space, so that there is nothing, that exists only as words surrounded by different interpretations (principle: “Tangible Beats Discussion”). Subsequent decision-making processes are simplified, structured and visualized (principle: “Note-Stick-Vote”).

As a process designed to move from problem definition to real user feedback in the shortest possible time, we guide our customers in the Design Sprint to the aim of successful product development in a structured and step-by-step way.


Allround Stories

New Approaches for the Implementation of User Studies

Special times require special approaches and strategies. How user studies can be conducted without contact or without presence in times of contact restrictions.

August 2020

The daily routine persists of a lot of home office and online meetings. In retail, distance must be maintained and personal contact is reduced to the bare essentials. Nevertheless, it is important to analyze user needs through studies. Although the development of new products is getting slower, finding out what needs a user group has or how test users react to a new design is still very important for a successful development process.

The Allround Team is engaged in conducting studies “remotely”. This means that testers are not invited to our offices but can participate in user studies independently at home without the presence of our test supervisors.

Our developers have been working with Virtual Reality (VR) for quite some time and studies have already been conducted with VR glasses. So the idea of sending VR-glasses to testers was quickly developed to show a test scenario with videos of the concepts that were to be evaluated. Due to the realistic presentation, results can be achieved, which are comparable to the ones attained in real test scenarios.

A first prototype revealed two challenges:

  1. Testers are familiar with VR glasses to different degrees and have different levels of experience in handling this new technology.

    The system must therefore be designed and operated in a simple way.

  1. Testers pass through a simulation with the VR glasses that also asks for answering questions or assessing specific aspects. Here the answers must now be recorded in some way. This task is normally performed by the test supervisor attending the session.

    The system requires a recording function for later transcription of the tester’s answers.

With competence and expertise, these challenges were mastered in another prototype. With this technology it is now possible to conduct studies remotely.

This brings several advantages at the same time: Testers can take their time at home and a possible risk of infection is minimized. The VR technology also allows the tester to enter the simulation immersively at home. In addition, the operation of the glasses is a new challenge for some testers, but the interest in new technologies is high among many people.

By means of iterative development, new ideas and approaches can be implemented quickly and the daily business can be continued even when facing the current restrictions.


Allround Stories

Our Conference Tool – Your Allround Carefree Package

COVID19 requires new ways of communication. That is why we focus on the personalization of a virtual conference tool.

June 2020

The 6th East meets West Conference 2020 “Connecting the dots” connects international LGBTIQ* networks with interested partners from business and society to discuss LGBTIQ* issues, share ideas and create a professional environment for efficient networking.

What makes our virtual conference tool service a carefree package?

This tool allows us to personalize virtual conferences. The virtual environment is customized to your needs, so that the brand and/or your message gets the full focus. In addition to the standard features, our tool also offers a barrier-free use on demand, in which you will be accompanied by sign language interpreters, as was done at the 6th East meets West Conference 2020. Participants from all over the world can also use the Google Translate plug-in in the chat to communicate with each other in their own language.

We support not only in the frontend but also in the backend – from invitation and/or payment management and a helpdesk or techdesk, which is always available during your conference, to a mobile studio as a hybrid version. We also offer onboarding for newcomers – i.e. a carefree package.


Allround Stories

Web Presence With Surgical Precision

SPI stands for Surgical Process Institute, a company of the Johnson & Johnson Group

February 2020

What does SPI do?


An intuitive and modular platform that allows you to digitally design and implement your own surgical workflows.


Structured surgical workflows support training, and surgical performance can be analyzed and compared, providing valuable insights.


A customized, digital operational report that automatically records all steps of the process and can be fully integrated into your existing documentation infrastructure.

We have supported SPI in their web presence.


Allround Stories

The Team Event … Our Annual Treat!

For many years our annual team event has been an integral part of our corporate culture.

September 2019

Those who work together in teams know that good teamwork is not necessarily self-evident, but is one of the most important factors for the success of a company. When colleagues get on well, treat each other with respect and know their mutual strengths and weaknesses, they can complement each other optimally and interact with each other in the best possible way. This creates a relaxed working atmosphere, promotes motivation and is also great fun!

As a rule, our team event starts with an extensive breakfast. Whether in the office or out in the café, the main thing is to gather our strength for the active part of the day.

Because following the German motto „eine Busfahrt, die ist lustig…“ (“a bus ride is a funny thing…”) we either take the bus or a boat to the next program point.

Arriving at the destination, we quickly hand out the care packages with cool drinks, snacks and small gimmicks and off you go! 😊

Whether exploring the Wupper in a canoe, swinging between the trees like Tarzan and Jane in the climbing park or pestering the “Dragon Rock” (Drachenfels) with questions…

…every year we look for and find exciting new opportunities to develop as a team. But most of all we have a lot of fun and a wonderful time together.


Allround Stories

Our Diversity. Cologne’s Strength.

A diversity campaign for the city of Cologne

November 2018

It was a joyous moment when our boss Fabienne told us that we had received the approval to implement the diversity campaign for the city of Cologne. The campaign ran under the name „Unsere Vielfalt. Kölns Stärke.“ („Our Diversity. Cologne’s Strength.“).

Diversity is also one of the strengths of the Allround Team, which is why the topic fitted into our company like no other. Fabienne has been fighting for “otherness” for years. As an Ethiopian who grew up speaking six languages, she increasingly demonstrates that different cultural backgrounds are no reason for exclusion. Her work also leads to social engagements, e.g. at the IHK Cologne, Charta of Diversity, Gala of the German Diabetes Help. In this way, she was able to contribute her input to a valuable campaign in the various workshops and moderated the approximately 20 people through various theme evenings. Cologne’s population groups – regardless of gender, age, disability, religion, ethnicity, and skin color as well as sexual identity and diversity of life – have developed a campaign that focuses on the commonalities of all. After the first workshop it was already clear that all Cologne people can identify 100% with their hometown Cologne. So why not integrate the city of Cologne as a unifying motif in the poster campaign? And what stands for Cologne more than the Cathedral? So the background motif for the five poster motifs, which places a park bench in the foreground, was quickly found. On this park bench, different people from Cologne, who entered into a dialogue with each other, were shot. The captured images should appear natural and not posed. Everyone had great fun participating in the shooting and thus in the campaign. The naturalness and also the joy prevailing on the set are reflected in the selected campaign pictures. It was incredibly beautiful to see how all participants felt directly connected to each other. All of them were able to show off their diversity and great strengths and were thus an important part of the successful campaign, which set a clear signal for the city of Cologne.


Allround Stories

The DDG – German Diabetes Aid

Preparation, planning and implementation in the field of trade fair management

November 2016

The German Diabetes Society is one of the largest medical and scientific societies in Germany. Its tasks include the research, treatment and prevention of diabetes.

Every year, the DDG organizes two major congresses in Germany, the Diabetes Congress in Berlin and the Diabetes Autumn Conference with changing locations.

On several occasions we were able to fully support one of our renowned customers from the pharmaceutical branch in the preparation, planning and implementation in the field of trade fair management.

In addition to the conception and design of the trade fair stand, we were also responsible for the participant management of the DDG Symposium, implemented various print materials such as invitations, Edgar Cards or banners and supported the booking of hostesses as well as the various stand activities.

An Allrounder task that was just perfect for our team and gave us a lot of pleasure for several years.


Allround Stories

Patient-Centered Communication

Putting people at the center of our actions

February 2016

For us, patient-centered thinking and acting means putting people at the center of our actions. We also follow this approach in our communication with and about patients. By putting ourselves in their shoes, we can take up and reflect their needs. Prejudices, long-established habits, or assumptions are left out of the scope. Our video about Acne Inversa, which was produced in collaboration with AbbVie, shows how this approach can be brought to life.