Design Sprints

A design sprint is a process that lasts approximately 5 days, with each day having a working through the process for solving big challenges with brainstorming, prototyping and testing. Working together in a sprint, you can often shortcut the endless-debate cycle and compress months of time into a single week. Instead of waiting to launch a minimal product to understand if an idea is any good, you’ll get clear and useable data from a realistic prototype.

That sound too good to be true? Design Sprints are a proven method of working, and are implemented in some of the worlds most creative and influential companies. Although we may not be an Apple or a Google - here is our guide on how to run the dream design sprint in your own business.

 

Design Sprint

 Design Sprint

  • Understand - Figure out the problem and pick the focus. This is an important step that behind the whole process and correlates to the "Empathise" part of the Design Thinking ethos.
  • Ideate - Create and brainstorm varying solutions. Pretty straight forward this is where you can get your creative flag flying and come up with the best (and maybe a few of the worst) ideas for your project or problem.
  • Decide - Start to hone in, make decisions and test. This is arguably the hardest part of the process as it requires you to start to figure out which of your ideas makes the most sense.
  • Prototype - Create a realistic prototype. Straightforward, start to turn your decision into a functioning prototype, establishing the look, feel, problem solving and getting an idea pretty quick as to if it will work in real life.
  • Test. Get feedback from real live users. Here is where you can you get your real criticisms in, figure out where your thinking went right and where it went wrong.

And now that's all clear as mud, generally speaking to have a foolproof sprint team in your company, the people you need onboard are as follows;

  • A decider - Someone who call the shots. Whether that’s the CEO or someone senior, they should be involved in the Sprint early, as their decision will influence the final product.
  • Facilitator - This person is the time keeper. They keep track of the team’s progress during the Design Sprint in an unbiased way (knowing decisions take as long as they take in this method) and ensure everyone is pitching in.
  • Marketing expert - This is someone who is skilled portraying the company to consumers. They know what works and what doesn't.
  • Customer service - These are your people pleasers (in the best possible way) they interact with the target customers on a regular basis and truly understand who your users are, what they complain about and what they praise.
  • Design expert - This is the person who will be designing the product and helping to realise the vision.
  • Tech expert - This is someone who understands the limitations and capacities of what the team can actually build and deliver.
  • Financial expert - This person can put everything down to numbers, explaining how much the project will cost and what the approximate ROI would be.

Design Sprints can be used for a whole plethora of things. Whether entering a new market, designing new products, developing new features, defining new marketing strategies, or simply creating a bad-ass website. Whether your thinking big or small, design sprints help you to consider all your options and move through the process to avoid making unnecessary mistakes and more iterations than needed in the future.

The most valuable takeaway from one of these exercises is that getting all the important parties together to work through problems is one of the best ways to ensure success and think about things from every single angle.