As a Principal UX Designer at Sabre, I lead the UX initiative of our Sabre Black incubator. I work with a product owner, development lead, and a marketing expert to formulate and test new business cases. We go through a 90-day cycle to discover, design, and validate new ideas for our Travel Network business. We present our validated business cases to executive leadership to ask for funding at the end of the first 90 days. If funded, the project moves on to build an MVP product to validate further with customers. We use design strategy along with lean startup principles to flesh out the concept and validate with customers.


Sabre Design Strategy Framework


Sabre is a large and established company and it was becoming too difficult to build and launch products quickly. Sabre has several innovation labs to help speed up this process and Travel Network’s version of this is Sabre Black. We barrow from lean startup and design strategy to speed up validation of ideas for new products to see what we need to keep investing in.


Lean Starup Visual



The diagram above is a great visual of how we run our validation process. We allow 90 days for validating the idea and forming a vision of the product. Once we have all our data from user interviews and testing, we put together a business case to present to our executive leadership. In that presentation, we get a decision to pursue, pivot, persevere, shelve, or abandon. We use the RAPID model to make sure a decision is made before anyone leaves the room. From there if we get a pursue we move on to create our first MVP to test with real paying customers. Below you can see our stage gates.


Sabre Black Timeline



As we are collecting data we start to build our business case. I created a standard format for these presentations to create some consistency for our executives. This format has cut down on questions that pop up before we get a chance to present the data. The executives now know where the data they are interested in is covered in the presentation.


I can’t show any of our presentations, but here is an outline of what we try to present.

  • Frame the opportunity (Who, What, Wow)
  • Sabre’s differentiators and value proposition
  • AAARRR (Shows the market opportunity)
  • Competitive landscape
  • Who we interviewed and how
  • Customer pain points
  • Designs
  • What customers said and how we listened
  • Business model
  • Development plan
  • Recommendation


All submissions to the Sabre Black program will have the potential to generate NEW revenue or massive savings for the business.