Design Sprint: Streamlining digital projects in 5 days

UX Process / Design Sprint — Ottawa, Canada
UX Process / Design Sprint — Ottawa, Canada

Imagine knowing customers' reactions before investing time and money in the building and development of a product. That is the Sprint method's proposal, created by former Google employee Jake Knapp to develop and test ideas in just five days.

Jake Knapp tested hundreds of sprints in different startups around the world and with the book “Sprint: the Method Used by Google to test and apply new ideas in just five days.” The designer popularized his technique in recent years, making it accessible to any digital project willing to evolve its maturation, starting without fear of making mistakes.

How does Design Sprint work?

UX Process / Design Sprint — Ottawa, Canada
UX Process / Design Sprint — Ottawa, Canada

Each sprint starts with a great challenge, dividing a team of approximately 7 people and a non-binding agenda.

SPRINT 1 — UNDERSTAND/DEFINE (MONDAY)

Mapping the problem and choosing a specific target.

This stage also establishes the long-term objectives, focusing on what matters for the business.

SPRINT 2 — DIVERGING/STRETCHING (TUESDAY)

Thinking of solutions to the problem.

Instead of the controversial team brainstorm in which many ideas die by being barred, each member works alone to come up with detailed competitive solutions, provided they are tangible.

SPRINT 3 — DECIDE (WEDNESDAY)

Choosing the best solutions.

Instead of debates that do not reach conclusions, the idea here is to use a structured process in which assertive decision making is possible through a collaborative process of ideas.

SPRINT 4 — PROTOTYPE (THURSDAY)

Hands-on!

It’s time to build real prototypes. Because of the short time, they must be just the face of the final product. For that, software like InVision can help you build applications or websites, for example.

SPRINT 5 — TEST/VALIDATE (FRIDAY)

The time has come to test the prototypes! By conducting individual interviews with five clients, it will be possible to find apparent patterns and identify that some solutions may work while others may not. In any case, the next starting point will already be clearer.

The result of Design Sprint, therefore, is not the result itself, but what you will do from there. Gather alignments, feedbacks, researches and analyzes the solutions to touch the project without getting attached to the process.

Watch the highlights of the Google Design Sprint delivered by the Memrise team from London, UK. In the video, the team talks to the Google Design Sprint professionals to create a prototype for the Memrise application language learning experience.

Google Design Sprint with Memrise

What are the benefits of Design Sprint?

We can list some of the benefits of developing a digital project with Design Sprint, such as

  • Testing an idea in just one week;
  • Reducing the risk of failure;
  • Increase the efficiency gain and align the team;
  • Establish an initial process or set the direction for a new effort.
UX Process / Design Sprint — Ottawa, Canada
UX Process / Design Sprint — Ottawa, Canada

Design Sprint: How to start?

Once the challenge is defined and the multidisciplinary team is in place, time must be set aside for the project, with immersion and agendas blocked. It is also essential to define a facilitator for Design Sprint to lead the meeting, synthesize the discussions and get the project moving.

Avoid distractions: laptops, phones, iPads, communicators…

Tools: timer, post-its, paper, whiteboard and brushes.

Is Design Sprint for all kinds of digital projects?

Definitely not. If your team is developing a new product and the goals and solutions are already clear to the company, maybe Design Sprint is not applicable. More than practice, Design Sprint proposes the Discovery phase; that is, if your business idea needs something more tactile and or if you are still confused in its definition and scope, Design Sprint can help. :)

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Thanks for reading!

If you want to chat, drop me a line here or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Written by

User Experience Designer based in Ottawa, Canada 🇨🇦 marcosrezende.com

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