What is Design Sprint?

You are starting a new development project. The company’s industry is undergoing a transformation and the market is changing at a rapid pace. You are in control of the project, trying to put all the pieces together to get the project started. At some point you might even ask yourself whether the project is going to be a huge success or a total flop. In this situation, the Design Sprint may be the quickest help.

Design sprint

At the initial stage of a development project you often need to seek answers to questions that do not have precise answers. Nevertheless, you must find the answers in one way or another in order for the project to get under way. The Design Sprint can provide quick but tested answers.

The Design Sprint is a powerful five-day development tool that can solve your organization’s challenges through multidisciplinary understanding, testing of ideas and quick prototyping.

The Design Sprint is a powerful service design workshop method originally developed by Google. Its biggest advantage is condensing months of work into five days. During those intensive days, a multidisciplinary team produces numerous ideas, the best of which are further developed into a prototype and finally validated with test users.

Phases of the Design Sprint week

During the Design Sprint, we challenge, validate and test new ideas together with the client. The main phases of the process are the same for everyone, but the content of the workshops can be modified project-specifically according to the client’s or project’s needs.

Lamia’s five-day Design Sprint is made up of the following components:

  1. In-depth understanding
    We define the sprint goals and form an in-depth understanding of the object of development together with the client. Existing customer data is utilized as background material. We also define and prioritize the long-term goals.
  2. Ideation and sketching
    Collect ideas, evaluate concepts and select the best ones for further development.
  3. Prototyping
    Build a lightweight, clickable prototype based on a concept.
  4. Testing with users
    The prototype is tested with end users. Test team participants are interviewed and user experience is gathered to hone the concept.
  5. Results
    Finally, the results of the user testing, the prototype and the roadmap are handed to the client for further development.

So, five very intensive days, but is it enough to find the answer? Yes, if the company’s long-term goal is clear enough.

Why take advantage of Design Sprint?

The biggest risk in service development is creating an obscure or complicated service that users do not understand. Feedback from users is crucial for service development. If the project were implemented using the traditional approach, the feedback from users would be obtained only after months of development work. Time and money would be lost unnecessarily.

The biggest risk in service development is creating an obscure or complicated service that users do not understand and, therefore, do not use.

A typical service development process consists of four main stages: ideation, implementation, publication and learning. The Design Sprint provides a shortcut to the final stage, i.e. learning. The sprint lays the foundation for a project based on end-user feedback.

Benefits of the Design Sprint in a nutshell

  • Accelerate the design start-up phase
  • Test the idea before starting a long and costly product development process
  • Involve a multidisciplinary team in defining the solution
  • Quick turnaround from idea to concrete solution

What kind of businesses is the Design Sprint suitable for?

Without even knowing your company’s industry or business, I am confident in saying that the Design Sprint is suitable for your company. The beauty of the process is that it is not limited to products or services. It can be equally used for determining a company’s business objectives, for example. Learn how Lamia leverages the Design Sprint model in e-commerce projects.

The following five questions describe a very typical starting point for the Design Sprint.

  • Does the company have a specific business problem that needs to be addressed?
  • Is the problem one for which there is no clear answer?
  • Does the company need a multidisciplinary team to solve the problem?
  • Is it worth investing five days to solve the problem?
  • Does the problem require holistic innovation or testing of new markets?

If you answered yes to all the questions, you may do well to consider the Design Sprint as the next step.

"Design Sprint provides a shortcut to the final stage of service development - learning."