Design sprints

Reducing risk and getting ready to rumble



A design sprint is a one-week process that includes discussion, prototyping, building and testing.

Design sprints were pioneered by Google Ventures and have proven to be a successful tool for product creation.

Rather than building a product, launching it, and waiting for market reaction, you instead go straight to the reaction. By targeting a specific core idea early on and, crucially, getting relevant feedback, you can save a lot of time in the long run.

The sprints run from Monday to Friday all day and at the end of the week you will have a basic prototype (based on a refined and focused concept) that has been been tested by actual users.

While the process should be adapted where necessary based on client needs, it usually follows the following phases:

Monday: UnderstandWhat is the problem and who is the customer? What can go wrong? How will you measure success? This is a day of identifying, understanding and targeting.

Tuesday: DivergeThe second day is about creativity, innovation and ideas. 

Wednesday: ConvergeTime to make a decision on a viable idea and solution and create a plan of action for the prototype.

Thursday: PrototypeThe prototype should be made in the simplest way possible to convey the solution to customers - it may be a simulated experience with no working data.

Friday: Test and learnPotential customers test the prototype and provide feedback. This is used to inform the future of the product.

If you are interetsted in design sprints, we recommend taking a closer look at the Google Ventures channel. There are lots of helpful Q&A videos that are easy to follow.

Additionally, the website has a lot of the basics - it is aimed at those carrying out the sprints, but is also good for clients to get an idea of how everything works.