What is Design Sprint?
A Design Sprint is a five-day process, during which you and your team work together to overcome a specific challenge.
Recently the Design Sprints started been conducted in four days, but it can be done even for a week or two if the challenge is bigger.
A reason to run a Design Sprint can be the launch of a new product or service. It can be a problem in an existing project. It can practically be used for (almost) everything.
Why it's useful?
Design sprints help you look into the future.
Experts from Google Ventures developed this method a few years ago to minimize risk and save precious time.
In just a few days, the team comes up with a challenge, solution, and prototype - and yes, it is possible!
The best part is that a Sprint can be useful for most companies out there.
'It’s for anyone with a big opportunity, problem or idea who needs to get answers today.' Sprint - Jake Knapp, Google
Forget sending hundreds of annoying emails that continuously explain the same thing and which rarely lead to any solutions. Why do that when you can sit in a room with your team, without any distractions and try something new?
Explaining the process.
First, like a coach of a football team, you should choose the players (or in this case the team) for the design sprint.
The ideal size for a sprint is 7 people or fewer - they all have different roles, just like in the football team. You will need to pick a ‘Decider’. That is the person with the power to make decisions (usually the CEO or project manager). You will pick a Facilitator, too. He will lead the process.
Everyone involved should clear their calendars for 4 whole days too. This is important if you want the process to be fully productive.
On Monday, the team will be creating a map and choose a target. Tuesday is for sketching solutions. On Wednesday, your team votes on which is the best. On Thursday, you build a realistic prototype and test it with real users.
When we run a design sprint at Lucky Duck we usually start with interviews with experts from the company. Then we define a long term goal and all the questions that might get in the way of the product success.
We use simple sketching techniques to develop solutions and then vote on the idea which we would form the basis of the prototype.
Once we have made a decision, we create a storyboard.
Then we translate the storyboard into an interactive prototype.
Finally, we test with users.
As there are lots of details and specific rules to keep in mind when running a sprint, make sure you hire specialists who have experience and know what they are doing.
A few tips.
Create a good atmosphere during the design sprint. Be committed. Make sure that the team understands the idea of the design sprint before it starts.
Google, Lego, and Slack are just some of the companies which have ran sprints in the past and reported great results from them. They all reported great results.
However, design sprints are suitable for small companies and startups, too.
Why does everybody love it?
Running a design sprint is a smart thing to do. It’s not a magical one-stop-shop that will solve all your problems at once, but it can help solve the biggest ones you might be facing, and the best part is that there is zero risk in conducting a sprint. At the very least, even If it doesn’t show you what to do, it’ll tell you what not to, and that will save you time, money, and effort.