Design Sprint Consulting
You are probably wondering,

What is a Design Sprint?

Where does it come from?

How do I go about planning a Design Sprint Week?

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We are about to answer your questions, wonders, and concerns about what a Design Sprint is.

A Design Sprint is a proven methodology for solving problems through designing, prototyping, and testing ideas with users. A group of people who share the same vision work together as a team to develop a hypothesis, prototype an idea, and test it in a real-life environment as quickly and with very little investment as possible. An endless-debate cycle that would normally take months to deliberate is compressed into a single week. This is a great tactic to gain knowledge and solve any issue in product development.

Where does a Design Sprint come from? This methodology was developed at Google from a vision to grow UX culture and the practice of design leadership across the organization. Google had multiple teams experiment the different methods such as business strategy, psychology, IDEO, and the traditional UX practice, applying them to support divergent and convergent thinking with teams. This method is flexible, and teams are continuing to adapt it based on different goals and organizational cultures.

How do you go about planning a Design Sprint week? First thing first, you need to book a conference room big enough to accommodate your team and all the supplies required. The room should be filled with as many whiteboards as possible, flip charts, moveable desks and chairs, enough wall space for your storyboard, and all the tools you need to write and track all your thoughts and ideas.

Design Sprint week is broken down into 5 stages.

Understand, Diverge, Decide, Prototype, Validate.

Preparing and planning your Design Sprint is important, which is why writing a Sprint Brief is necessary. This is the tool where you create an Agenda with the methods and team you will use to achieve your goals. It will also include the background for the project, the decision-makers and help you organize experts and participants.

Assemble your Design Sprint Team. The ideal amount required is a group of 5-7 people. Typically, the team should include a UX Designer, a User Researcher, a Product Manager, a Developer, and if possible key members of leadership.

Day 1 of sprint week. Start the week off by starting at the end. Image the end result and the risks you could encounter along the way. Then work backward to figure out the steps you will need to get there. Share knowledge, understand problems, chose a target for the week and agree on a long-term goal.

Monday’s discussions create a path for the sprint. Get to know your team and build a shared understanding. Each person has their own set of knowledge to bring to the table.

Day 2 of sprint week. Today your focus is on solutions. Gathering all the information from the previous day, you will begin to individually sketch out ideas, gather key information and create a solution.

Tuesday is also the day you want to start to reach out to potential customers who fit your target profile. Friday is the day you test your product, so you want to have outsiders show up to your final reveal.

Day 3 of sprint week. By now you and your team should have a stack of solutions based on your sketches from Tuesday. Now you need to narrow it down and decide which one is the best chance of achieving your long-term goal. By creating a storyboard, you will take all your winning sketches and weave them together. The goal here is to plan a step-by-step storyboard that shows the sequence of the desired prototype.

Day 4 of sprint week. Yesterday you and your team created a storyboard. Today you will turn that storyboard into a prototype. A design sprint prototype is a façade of the experience you have envisioned in the sketch phase. Doing so in a cheap and timeless matter, you will build your prototype real enough to get an authentic response from a potential user in the Validate phase. Think of your prototype as an experiment in order to test out your hypothesis.

Day 5 of sprint week. By now you should have created a promising solution, chosen the best and built a realistic prototype. Today is the moment of truth. You will interview customers, gather feedback from users and learn by watching them react to your prototype.

Day 1 of sprint week. Start the week off by starting at the end. Image the end result and the risks you could encounter along the way. Then work backward to figure out the steps you will need to get there. Share knowledge, understand problems, chose a target for the week and agree on a long-term goal.

Monday’s discussions create a path for the sprint. Get to know your team and build a shared understanding. Each person has their own set of knowledge to bring to the table.

Day 2 of sprint week. Today your focus is on solutions. Gathering all the information from the previous day, you will begin to individually sketch out ideas, gather key information and create a solution.

Tuesday is also the day you want to start to reach out to potential customers who fit your target profile. Friday is the day you test your product, so you want to have outsiders show up to your final reveal.

Day 3 of sprint week. By now you and your team should have a stack of solutions based on your sketches from Tuesday. Now you need to narrow it down and decide which one is the best chance of achieving your long-term goal. By creating a storyboard, you will take all your winning sketches and weave them together. The goal here is to plan a step-by-step storyboard that shows the sequence of the desired prototype.

Day 4 of sprint week. Yesterday you and your team created a storyboard. Today you will turn that storyboard into a prototype. A design sprint prototype is a façade of the experience you have envisioned in the sketch phase. Doing so in a cheap and timeless matter, you will build your prototype real enough to get an authentic response from a potential user in the Validate phase. Think of your prototype as an experiment in order to test out your hypothesis.

Day 5 of sprint week. By now you should have created a promising solution, chosen the best and built a realistic prototype. Today is the moment of truth. You will interview customers, gather feedback from users and learn by watching them react to your prototype.

By the end of the day, you’ll know if you have a validated concept- or an invalidated concept to improve on. Once you have completed your validation sessions, you and your team can review your findings and begin to plan the next round of product development.

Re-capping the Design Sprint week program we leave it with the understanding that gathering ideas, making sketches, conducting problems and solutions, creating a prototype and then validating it is the best steps to take in order to gain the knowledge needed to launch a product. In less than a week you are given step-by-step instructions on how to come together as a team to create and build a product to test before making a time worthy and expensive launch.

What is a Design Sprint?

A Design Sprint is a time-constrained, 5-day process that uses design thinking to reduce the risks when bringing a new product, service or a feature to the market.

What does a Design Sprint week look like?

You map on Monday, sketch on Tuesday, decide and storyboard on Wednesday, prototype on Thursday, then on Friday you test and validate.

How do you facilitate the Design Sprint week?

To simply break it down, you must

Lock down the roles

It must be clear to everyone what their role is and what’s expected from them for everyone in your core team

Define the challenge

Clearly, communicate the problem you wish to solve

Find your experts

provide your sprinters with the insights they need to understand the challenge

Select your sprinters

Have a wide range section of your business as possible, good ideas come from everywhere

Pick your prototype

Make sure to have the right person for your prototype

Find your testers

recruit the appropriate candidates who represent real users in the real world

Book your location

Find a room with plenty of wall space and bring the usual supplies for creativity and sketching