A design sprint?
The concept has been set up a few years ago by Google Ventures. It’s based on the Design Thinking process. In short, in design thinking, we have 5 big steps:
We need to have the best possible understanding of the issue by talking to all possible stakeholders.
We need to have a clear definition of the problem that we’re going to solve.
We need to brainstorm and think about as many solutions as possible for our problem. Out of all these ideas, we’ll select the best idea and refine it.
We’ll make one or more (interactive) prototypes to (partially) test our solution.
Test our solutions as quickly as possible with end users to see if it also works in real life.
In all of these steps, the end-user is put central. So, the actual process consists of 4 big pieces:
You have an idea (1) that you build (2) and launch with users (3) in order to learn (4) from it.
In a design sprint, we’ll skip a few steps: we won’t build a final product and launch it with users. In just 5 days, we’ll work on an idea and make a prototype to test it with (end -)users. From there on, we can learn and make further improvements. This way, we’re able to learn much faster and discover if a solution will work or not.
Day 1: identify the problem
The discussions on Monday will decide on the topics for the upcoming days. It’s the aim to have an agreement in the morning about the long term goals and sketch them out. In the afternoon, we’ll talk with the subject matter experts in the company who have to share their knowledge as much as possible. To close we have to decide about our goal(s) for the design sprint: which problem, or part of the problem, are we going to tackle in the remaining 4 days.
Day 2: look for solutions
We’ve decided what problem issue we’re going to tackle. On the second day, we’ll look into solutions. We start with inspiration: we look at existing ideas, the competition, possible rework, or improvements… In the afternoon, each participant will be able to sketch out possible solutions. We will focus on the idea and not the visual result. During this day, we’ll also start recruiting end-users and customers with the correct profile to test our solution on the last day of the design sprint.
Day 3: define the solution
After a full day of brainstorming, a whole lot of ideas will be available. Of course, we cannot produce and test them all. This means that we have to make a choice about which idea we will work out. We do this in the morning of day 3, in which each solution is assessed on the quality and could be a long-term solution. The best proposals are put together in the afternoon. We’re working out a plan in which we describe what the content and functionalities of the prototype will be.
Dag 4: building the prototype
On this day we will effectively build the prototype in a suitable tool. We collect all the individual elements and put them together in a prototype. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but good enough to test with users on the last day. Finally, we will also prepare the script for tomorrow: which features will we test, which tasks will the users have to perform, which questions will we ask, which tools do we need, etc …
Dag 5: testing
The apotheosis of the design sprint. We present the work of the past days to users. We look at their response while using the prototype and we interview them to get as much feedback as possible. What was positive for them and what could still use some improvements?
This way, it is possible to save a huge amount of time and resolve a problem in an early phase of the process. The solution is also being validated by your team internally with your users and/or customers. We use the above scheme as a baseline, but it can be adjusted according to the objective and project.
Do you think that a design sprint can also be a tool for your business? Book your design sprint workshop today!