What is a Design Sprint?
Many are asking, “what is a design sprint?” A design sprint is a methodology for rapidly understanding, prototyping, developing, and vetting your products MVP. Design sprints are one of the most cost effective ways to determine if your product is market viable.
How To Successfully Incorporate UX Design Into Your Strategy With The Design Sprint
I recently learned about the Design Sprint by Google Ventures. This video hosted by Kevin Rose is a great overview of the design sprint, but I will try and break out some highlights here as well.
The design sprint is a weeklong of 5 day process for getting quick feedback and answering critical business questions. This is done through a combination of strategy, UX design, prototyping, and testing ideas with end users. Developed at Google Ventures, it’s a week packed full of business strategy, innovation, behavior science, and design thinking maximizing efficiency of time.
Here Are 7 Benefits Of The Design Sprint …
- Shortcut the endless-debate cycle
- Compress months of time making decisions into a single week
- Skip building ideas that are not user vetted
- Avoid launching a minimal viable product that no one likes
- Get clear data from a realistic prototype
- Go directly to exploring customer reactions with your finish-like product
- Eliminate expensive (data blind) commitments
About The Design Sprint From It’s Creators
Jake Knapp has this to say about the Design Sprint …
Basically the idea with the Sprint is to take a big problem, a big challenge the company’s facing, and clear the schedule for a week to get the team altogether, so five-six-seven people, and then we do this series of four specific steps. By the end of the week they’ve got a finished realistic prototype, test it with five customers, and you kind of know what to do next. [You] know if the ideas are good, if they need more work, and so over the course of the last few years at [Google Ventures] we experiment that kind of over and over again to tweak it and try to figure out what would work predictably.
When discussing the level of detail that the prototype takes Daniel Burka says …
I corn-ally call it on the Goldilocks level of fidelity. If you do something that’s to low of fidelity, like paper prototyping or wire frames, the problem is that you have to suspend disbelief right? You’re like ‘oh i guess like, if you did it for real, it would be kind of like that’. So people are responding to what you show them like ‘hey look at this prototype and tell me what you think’ and then they’ll tell you what they think but it’s really colored. Right? … At the other end is making something look perfect, but the problem with making something that looks perfect is it takes you to long, and you also fall in love with it because you put enough effort into it. Then you’re willing to kind of disregard what users say. It’s like ‘aw users don’t know what they’re talking about’. But in this case, we’re right in the middle, so it looks like real software.
Design Sprint Successes
I have used the design sprint approach successfully on clients @Credera with raving reviews regarding the deliverables. It is a great way to quickly get stakeholders on the same page and design something that you can take back to your executives to provide vision. I highly recommend learning more about this approach and seeing if it is right for your development strategy.
If you need further convincing of how powerful the design sprint process is, Hubspot also uses this approach in their Growth-Driven Design methodology.