Develop great ideas in just five days. That´s the main message about Design Sprint. I first heard about this topic at the last Design Thinking Meetup I joined. An interesting concept which allows design teams to develop solutions within a set timeframe and workload. So i started to have a deeper look into the concept.
In General the Design Sprint is a combination of Design Thinking and the concept about sprints like you have in other methodologies. Putting the Design Thinking mind and tool set into a controlled environment. In my opinion this makes it easier to implement it into business and corporate environments. So let’s have a look at the method.
Like in Design Thinking you follow a five step process starting at the learning and experience phase and finalising the concept with a prototype and testing. In the Design Sprint you will add some additional rules and schedules on top of it. From Monday to Friday you follow a set of daily goals and targets. Including a list methods and tools to use.
On Friday afternoon you should have a working prototype and a bunch of experiences and user opinions to work with. Defining the next steps and maybe to prepare a new Design Sprint.
From Monday to Friday.
Forming the Team on Monday
First you should define your task and gain some experience about the topic you want work on. Create a team for the sprint. Invite up to 7 people to start your journey. Learn about your upcoming task an include experts and interview Partner. At the end of day one you should have a prepared team and set goal for the upcoming sprint.
Remix and improve on Tuesday
On Tuesday we will work on the set Goal. Gain some deeper insights and start to develop some ideas and Solutions. Start with Inspiration and collect as many ideas as possible. You will visualise them using Sketches and visuals. Create solution Sketches using the crazy 8s method.
Choose on Wednesday
After you have developed possible Solutions and ideas you need to rate and choose now. Use Whiteboard to Show all possible Solutions and choose the best ones using sticky notes. After putting notes or dots on you should do a quick discussion on the results. Clarifying thoughts and backgrounds why the decisions were made. You will end up with one or two winning ideas and maybe some ideas to be stored for later use.
Build and create on Thursday
It is time to prototype. Take the final Solutions or max the best two Solutions and start to build the prototype you Need for your testing on friday. Also prepare your interviews and test sessions. You can also create a storyboard for a better understanding.
To be Tested on Friday
It is time to test your solution. The prototype you created on Thursdays will be shown to users now. You should do arround 5 interviews with different users and Backgrounds. Most important is to record all the relevant data. This leads to the last task in your sprint. Explore and review the interview results. Put together the final result or your sprint.
So in just five days you can end up with a conceptual or actual working prototype and results of a user testing. On Friday you can present this to you Stakeholder and decide about the next steps. As the process is set strictly to one week it can be included into bigger Projects very easily. To be able to do so it is required to have the Team available the whole week. No emails, no meeting. Focus on the sprint. Some teams also announce a smartphone free Zone for the sprint.
A great method to develop interesting and fast solutions within a limited time. In my opinion it Looks like the method can more easily be implemented in to large projects in different scales and efforts. Lets see how the later experience will look like.
Maybe you also want to give it a try.