Design Sprint: Streamlining digital projects in just five days

Marcos Rezende
4 min readAug 7, 2020
UX Process / Design Sprint

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

Jake Knapp tested hundreds of sprints in different startups worldwide with the book “Sprint: The Method Used by Google to Test and apply new ideas in just five days.” The designer popularized his technique recently, 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

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


Mapping the problem and choosing a specific target.

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


Thinking of solutions to the problem.

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


Choosing the best solutions.

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



It’s time to build real prototypes. But, because of the short time, they must be just the face of the final product. For that, software like Figma can help you build applications.


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 be more straightforward.

Jake Knapp, the Design Sprint method’s creator, gives a super-fast introduction to the design stages. Check it out:

Design Sprint Process explained in 90 seconds by Jake Knapp.

Therefore, the result of Design Sprint differs from the result itself, but what you will do from there. So, gather alignments, feedback, research, and analyze the solutions to touch the project without getting attached to the process.

Google Design Sprint — APP Memrise

In this following video, the Memrise team talks to the Google Design Sprint professionals to create a prototype for the Memrise application language learning experience in London, UK.

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

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 determine 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 suitable for all types of digital projects?

Certainly not. If your team is developing a new product and the goals and solutions are already clear to the company, something other than Design Sprint is more appropriate.

Beyond mere practice, Design Sprint advocates a more hands-on approach. However, a deficiency in emphasis on proper user research within the Design Sprint process can lead teams to overly depend on assumptions rather than data-driven insights, which is a drawback. For this reason, it may not be suitable for all types of problems or contexts.

Wrapping up

Design Sprint is a rapid, five-day methodology to streamline digital projects, promoting efficient ideation, prototyping, and validation. While it offers benefits like risk reduction and team alignment, it may not suit all projects and could lead to an overreliance on assumptions if user research is neglected. Successful implementation hinges on a clear challenge, a multidisciplinary team, and a commitment to user-centric principles.