What is a design sprint?
Design sprint is usually a five-day process, which answers critical business questions through design, prototyping and testing ideas with customers. This methodology has been developed by Google designers to build better products faster and to grow UX culture across the organization. In the last couple of years, design sprints have become very popular. To learn more you can always refer to the wonderful book “The Sprint Book” by Jake Knapp: https://jakeknapp.com/sprint.
When do you need design sprints?
Running a design sprint with your team will speed up the planning and compress it to five days instead of a month. Design sprint methodology makes teamwork effective and efficient, saving time and costs spent on design, engineering, and development. It aims to reduce the risks when bringing new products or services to the market.
Other uses of this approach could be:
Revision of existing UI/UX design
Adding new features and functions to your product
Product or service improvement
Extension of UX to a new platform
New idea testing
The suggested number of people involved in a design sprint is 4-7 team members (facilitator, designer, decision-maker, product manager, engineer, and someone from Marketing, Content, or Operations department).
Phases of design sprints
Design sprints consist of five phases that usually stand for the five days of a week. The idea is to force you and your team to focus on tasks and work efficiently, aiming to present a realistic outcome by the end of the week. Let’s run through these five days and see what is expected to be done during each of them.
Day 1: Make a map, choose a target
On Day 1 a path for the sprint week should be created, and the challenge map should be made. At the end of the day, your team should agree on a long-term goal and pick a target. The target should be ambitious enough, but manageable within one week (don't forget to set the due date). Asking the correct questions will help you to formulate the right sprint goal.
Day 2: Sketch out competing solutions
Once you have defined the problem and set the target, it’s time to get yourselves inspired. Day 2 is devoted to prepare the existing ideas and evaluate the ideas of others. Mix and improve your ideas, define a small group of favorites. The collected information should be visualized — sketch your solutions.
Day 3: Shortlist your solution ideas
By Day 3 you and your team will have a list of solutions. Decide which solutions have the best chance of achieving the long-term goal and weave them into a storyboard. Your goal is to build a step-by-step plan for your prototype. The finished story should consist of five to fifteen steps.
Day 4: Build a realistic prototype
On Day 4 you will have to turn your storyboard into a prototype — it must appear real. A prototype is used for testing only, it doesn’t need great design. Determine which functions are the most important and what is needed to integrate them into the prototype. Ensure that everything is prepared for the 5th-day testing — think how the tests will be run and who will do it. Define the introduction and formulate interview questions.
Day 5: Conduct target user testing
By Day 5 you have already gone through a big challenge with your team. With a great collaborative effort, you have come up with some promising solutions and built a realistic prototype. Now it’s time to test it — ask your users how they react to your prototype. The findings of the test will tell you the direction to move towards. Think of what you have to improve and do next, based on the findings and start a new iteration.
Thinking about running a design sprint?
Try our Design Sprint template
It illustrates the process of a design sprint from preparation to iteration,
which can be used as a basis for your project.
How to use this template?
Create a new project and choose the Design Sprint template as the starting point. All Infolio templates include some demo content. Feel free to remove it once you've familiarized yourself with the concept.
The tasks are distributed over five days of sprint and preparation: "Preparation", "Day 1", "Day 2", "Day 3", "Day 4" and "Day 5". Example tasks stay for informational purposes — you can easily replace them with the ones you need.
Group tasks by Status to see the stages of design sprint progress ("Preparation", "Ideation", "Creation", "Testing", "Iteration"). In this view you can easily add new statuses to your workflow or rearrange existing ones. Change the status of any task by dragging and dropping it to the corresponding column.
To see how tasks are distributed within your team, group the project by Assignee. In this view you can reassign tasks quickly by dragging and dropping them between columns.