5 Day design sprints

Shortcut the design thinking process

Do you…

  • Have an incomplete concept that is medium to high risk that you believe is viable?

  • Need feedback on your concept extremely quickly and cost-effectively?

  • Want to save money, time and energy by testing the feasibility of your product or service before you build the wrong thing?

  • Need to discover whether your concept has a problem-solution fit?

If so, a design sprint will enable you to take your concept to a place of certainty before you take any further steps.

What is it?

  • The sprint gives product teams a shortcut to figuring out whether a concept could work without building and launching it.

  • Working from problem definition all the way through to usability testing, the sprint is typically a five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers.

  • Developed at Google Ventures, it’s a “greatest hits” of business strategy, innovation, behavior science, design thinking, and more — packaged into a battle-tested process that any team can use.

Typically, we launch a minimum viable product (MVP) and wait for feedback – a process which can take months.  A design sprint provides you with clear feedback in under a week to bypass the endless debate cycle.

Sticky note sorting for design sprint

The agenda

 Monday: Empathise 

Who are we designing for and what are the assumptions we have about their needsgoalsmotivations and behaviours?

  • Discuss what you know already about your customers and present any research.
  • Define your customer, their needs and goals, using personas and “how might we…” problem statements.


Tuesday: Testing venue

How do we transition from identifying problems to creating solutions?

  • Be inspired by exploring current ideas that relate even tangentially to your concept.  How can we remix and improve on these?
  • Learn to harness divergent thinking by finding ways to come up with as many ideas as possible, even if they’re not perfect.


Wednesday: Decide 

How to make difficult decisions around your concept and turn your best ideas into a testable hypothesis?

  • Critique your stack of solutions
  • Weave the winning solutions into a plan for the first iteration of the prototype


Thursday: Prototype

How do we create the prototype so it’s ready for testing?

  • Hammer out a low to medium fidelity prototype using paper and pens, or something more interactive such as Axure. 

Friday: Test

How do we obtain valuable feedback from actual users?

  • Put the prototype in front of actual customers and receive their feedback
  • Understand whether your concept has viability
  • Dig deeper to uncover root problems
  • Discover alternative solutions

    Ready to test your concept in 5 days?

    The design sprint gives you a superpower: fast-forwarding you into the future to see your finished product and customer reactions, before making any expensive commitments.
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