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Case studies


Shaping the idea to improve boardmeetings, into an MVP

The 2 ambitious founders of Govrn came to us to help design the idea they had to improve board meetings and connect board members to their companies. They had performed over 100 interviews and knew exactly what to improve, they just didn’t know how.

Govrn interface mockup on 3 iphones
Govern logo

About Govrn

Govrn is an online platform to improve board meetings and management.

The ask

Today, board members of companies are overwhelmed with emails on decision to make.
Govrn wanted to create an effortless way for board members to securely communicate and make informed decisions through a digital platform.

When you are targeting highly demanding users, like board members, they expect the best product. That's why we choose Smooth Sailing to create a great user experience.

Govrn Wireframes

Visualize & validate first ideas

We created an MVP to get early feedback;

  1. We dove into the existing research to understand all insights and problems
  2. We started cutting and pasting screenshots from our favorite search, documentation, and productivity tools we created a first tangible concept.
  3. After 10+ iterations of the wireframes we derived a clickable prototype of how the app should work. We worked with a mobile-first approach, which forced us to keep the interface simple.
  4. We went to potential users and asked their feedback. We learned that the voting functionality and the calendar concept were unclear at that point. Build fast, learn fast!
Govrn Interfaces

Analyse, design & build

After that first validation, we dove headfirst into the MVP creation. We deployed 3 tracks at the same time, pretty challenging to keep everything smoothly coordinated, but we managed!

  1. Detailed analysis of all functionality: we created feature passports where the why, the how and the KPIs are captured.
  2. We designed a high-fidelity HTML version of the user interface. Patterns were documented for swift implementation.
  3. The engineering team (of Exthand) was able to build the MVP based on our feature passports

Launch & quality control

We released the software internally first to generate a lot of feedback. We organized and structured the feedback, so bugs were identified quickly and new ideas were parked for a later stage.

Happy beta users were onboarded not long after that.

Services used


Before each (re)design of a product, we do research. We design products that solve real user problems, so it's crucial to get to know those users. Which problems do they have? What are their goals?

Product management

Making sure all decisions are well-informed and consistent is the core of good product management. Balancing business goals, technical feasibility, and user input is a science and an art.

Product design

We design whatever we’ve drawn out together and make sure it’s rooted in research, deliberation and testing. A clickable mock-up serves as a testing ground for the future.

Validation & User testing

After we have designed or built something, we test it with the right target audience to see if we have created the correct solution. This means whether they understand its purpose, how it works and if they flow through it as expected. We want users to be able to use a digital product fully and understand it with little mental effort.

  • Profile picture of Dieter Peirs
  • Serena Yang Product Manager
  • Hannes

Interested in a product vision workshop?

Are you an early stage software start-up that is looking to secure funding? We can help with creating a clear narrative that speaks to potential investors. We can translate your (future) ideas into a clean and understandable product vision.

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