What is Design Sprint?

Design Sprint is a framework consists of five phases that help to answer business questions through user testing and rapid prototyping. It is used to solve and test various design tasks in 2-5 days.

The process assists to gather the team under a shared vision, encourage user-centered thinking and faster the product launch.

Design Sprint: what are the roots?

The idea of sprints originated from the Agile framework and the idea of design thinking was developed in IDEO and Stanford school. These frameworks were adapted to "Design Sprints" by UX developers from Google and other teams from this sphere.

Today sprints are popular and actively used by startups and different scale companies. With the help of sprints, your team reaches clear goals and quickly gain key learnings.

Using Design Sprint approach and working together, team members can shortcut debates and compress working months into a single week. It gives a clear data from a realistic prototype. You can see your future product and customer reactions before making any expensive commitments.

Design Sprint approach usually involves five days or five steps. However the length can be flexible. Why? 

Some teams simply do not have 5 days or they can not gather all members for the full Sprint. That's why they can complete Sprint more quickly, even in 48 hours. Here you have a space for experiments and can adjust this approach to be suited for your team.

5-days Design Sprint includes the following days or stages:

  • Monday - you define the problem and pick an important place to focus. The discussions on Monday create a path for the whole Sprint week. Here you determine a long-term goal, make a map of the challenge and ask your company’s experts to share what they know.
  • Tuesday - you sketch competing solutions (often on paper). Here you review the existing ideas and make improvements.
  • Wednesday - you turn your ideas into a hypothesis and make difficult decisions. Your team proposes different solutions but you cannot prototype and test them all as you need to choose one plan to achieve your long-term goal.
  • Thursday - you create a high-fidelity prototype. You turn the storyboard that you've created with the team into a prototype. Focusing on the customer-facing surface of your product, you can finish your prototype in just one day. Here you will make sure everything is ready for Friday’s testing.
  • Friday - you test it. By this day, you’ve created promising solutions and built a realistic prototype. Testing at the end of Friday will show you how far you have to go and what to do next.

Each stage or each day can include different design practices or methods.

There are dozens of them, but you don't have to use them all at once. For example, here're some methods for understanding and defining the problem:

  • Blitz-reports on business goals
  • Users interviews
  • Visiting users in an environment where the product is used
  • Stakeholder maps
  • Reviews of competitors
  • Surveys

You may also use the methods of prototyping:

  • Layouts
  • Demo
  • Video
  • Physical prototypes

Validation methods:

  • Custom testing
  • Feedback from stakeholders
  • Technical feasibility checking, and so on.

Who are involved?

  • Sprint Master - the designer, leader, and facilitator of the project. of the process. He/she develops the challenge, invites team members and leads the process. This person should be experienced in project management and UX methods. 
  • Product Manager who will express the customers' needs. This person will be also responsible for marketing issues.
  • Designers. They are required to make all the ideas look good and fast.
  • Sprint Engineers who will help to build something (it may be a prototype or a software version 1.0).
  • Experts. They can be partners, opinion leaders or someone who will be able to take the group outside the box.

How to build a Design Sprint with Hygger?

Convenient Kanban boards that Hygger offers are a great solution for planning each day or each stage as the part of the Design Sprint approach. Here is how it may look like.

Complete all the stages and make you Sprint look great!

Hygger recommends

Want to find out more about the method? This resource should be helpful:

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