Why are the biggest companies in the world like Apple, Google, Amazon, Uber running design sprints? Well, because it works.
What is a Design Sprint
A Design Sprint is a practical and unique process that brings a group of people together for validating ideas and solving big challenges through prototyping and testing ideas.
How does it differentiate from Design Thinking?
There are a lot of similarities between Design Sprints and Design Thinking, but the biggest difference is Design Thinking is more of a philosophy and a mindset, it has tools that you can use, but Design Sprints takes the principles from Design Thinking but also takes principles Business Model Canvas, The Lean Startup and more to create a recipe that you can use again and again to create a new business or product idea or solve an existing challenge through testing it with users or customers.
When to run a Design Sprint?
A Design Sprint is effective when the problem is meaningful and challenging enough that employees from different groups need to work together to find a solution. Whether it be the marketing team, design team, or even the CEO. When the problem needs a cross-functional team to solve it, you know that you’re investing in solving an unknown that’s big and meaningful. Design Sprints bridges the boundaries between different people that don’t usually work together to achieve decisions within a timeline that doesn’t normally happen. It's ten times faster than any tool out there.
How to do a Design Sprint?
There are various versions of Design Sprints out there, one which takes 5 days to when that only takes 3 hours, it really depends on what your goal is. But all of them follow a five-step process, which is similar to the Design Thinking iterative process.
Understand to be understood. The first part of the Sprint requires inviting the right people to share business goals, technology capability, and user need. The goal of this stage is to expand the understanding of the product/project.
Anything is possible. Participants in the Design Sprint should explore all possible solutions to their user problems.
Time to review all ideas and vote for the best options as a team.
Prototyping and testing without investing a lot of time, money, or resources.
Allows the team to learn different ways to design in a new form, but also hears each other’s points of view on their own designs.
Benefits from running a Design Sprint
A sprint cuts out all inefficiencies and ineffective discussions. A sprint forces you and your team to focus and work towards something realistic in a short period of time. It forces you to make critical decisions and solve complex problems fast. This means that you and your team can save weeks or even months of works and costs.
Design Sprint has different variations and sizes. We here at Uplittle, use Brand Sprint, another variation of Design Sprint that is used before a Branding Exercise. Find the link for that with other resources for Design Sprint below.
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days, book by Jake Knapp: https://www.thesprintbook.com/
Brand Sprint, sprint designed for branding: https://library.gv.com/the-three-hour-brand-sprint-3ccabf4b768a
Design Sprint kits by Google: https://designsprintkit.withgoogle.com/
Sprint case studies from around the world: https://sprintstories.com/
Google Ventures’ own words about design sprints: https://www.gv.com/sprint/