The design sprint can be performed by any one of you once you know the basic framework. It maybe your first time setting up a sprint or it may be just extra analysis on how to improve your latest sprint technique.

We strongly recommend design sprints for innovation. The UX and design teams need the time and framework to rapidly test ideas, iterate quickly and help organisations decide whether to invest in a new product or feature.

What is a design sprint?

“Sprint design is a shortcut to learning without building and launching”

Design sprints are an invention of Google Ventures’ design team – a five-phase framework that helps to answer business questions and improve the chances of making something people want and not what you think they want. This is done through rapid prototyping and user testing, allowing your team to gain key learnings. The process helps to spark innovation, encourage user-centred thinking and in return give a clearer direction for the future.


Who & What do I need to plan the sprint?

The optimal sprint team is between four and eight people; A Designer, CEO, Product
Manager and User Expert. It would be advantageous to have an Developer and Marketer
involved but it’s understood sometimes it can be a challenge to get all these people in one

We would advise to get the necessary materials to run the sprint:

1. Sticky Notes – Buy Here
2. Sharpie Pens – Buy Here
3. Magic Whiteboard Sheet – Buy Here
4. Dot Stickers – Buy Here
5. Paper / Notepad
6. Stopwatch – Buy Here

The Process Overview

Five Days, with five key goals

During day one your team will draft out the business problems – Map the flow, identify the goals, capture hypotheses and assumptions. This is the best way to save time and money because it allows you to create the framework for the following days.

We want you to explore as many ways to solve the problems. Don’t worry at this stage about how feasible or realistic it is – the more ideas, the better.

“We have found that the most innovative ideas are often produced by individuals in concentrated though.” GV

There are many ways to encourage the team to sketch their ideas but the ‘Crazy 8’s’ is a great way to generate as many unique ideas as possible. Crazy 8s is a fast sketching exercise that challenges people to sketch 8 ideas in 8 minutes. Some of your team may find this a little daunting without having a design background but that doesn’t matter, it’s the ideas which we are interested in.

It’s time to present your ideas in front of the whole group and vote for the sketches you are most confident in.

A great way to vote is using ‘Heatmap voting’ this can help visually indicate the winning ideas. The team members can use as many dot stickers to vote for specific sketch features and the one with the most stickers wins.

Build a prototype real enough to get an genuine response from a potential user. If you want to get the most accurate insights, you will need to test it with the target demographic you are making it for.

The prototype should map out the exact flow of the experience and only build the steps you want to test. The prototype is an experiment to test out the hypothesis and should be designed to learn about assumptions.

This is your moment of truth! Test the prototype with existing or potential users.
Keep in mind this is by no means the final product. Watching users try out the prototype will help you discover any issues, which is turn lets you start iterating the designs. The UX designer or researcher would be best the carry out this process whilst everyone observes the session and makes notes on behaviours, emotions and capture the learnings.

Once we have gathered the feedback from the validating phase it is time to iterate and test, test, test!

We hope this summary helps you get effective results!

A Design sprint is a crucial technique every company should be taking part in – if you haven’t already, give it a go! If the user is happy and it provides value to the business you have designed a fantastic product.


Book recommendation:

Sprint Book, by Jack Knapp
Sketching User Experiences, by Bill Buxton
The Design of Everyday Things, by Don Norman

Related Articles:

10 Books that will boost your creative knowledge

4 Tips to build customer trust 

Photo by on Unsplash