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Method

5-day process to design, prototype and test ideas with customers. You will test hypotheses, address business questions, and determine future solution possibilities.

Purpose

  • To work together as a design team over a time-constrained period.
  • To rapidly generate, test and iterate design product and feature concepts.
  • To address business questions. 
  • To test potential future solutions with real customers.
  • To determine desirability, before committing time and expense to building products.
  • To identify new market opportunities through testing ideas in a ‘safe’ environment.

What you get

  • Disposable prototypes to test hypotheses.
  • Rapid definition of new product features and adoption strategies.
  • Solution validation with real customers.

Strengths

  • Solve design problems quickly.
  • Tests assumptions with reactions and feedback from real customers.
  • Provides a shortcut from ideas to learnings.
  • Minimises risk before committing time and expense to building products.

Weaknesses

  • Relies on 5 days of time and resource commitment by design team, plus preparation.
  • Extensive preparation is necessary for the sprint to be beneficial. The design problem needs to be clear beforehand. The sprint needs to be carefully planned. Materials need to be prepared in advance. 

Tips

The success of a design sprint depends as much on its preparation as its execution:

  • Set expectations with the business and participants about what sprints are for. For example, sprints are focused on ideas and concepts. Sprints do not produce finished product outcomes. They don’t require creative or skill specialty. They are not about ‘design by committee’.
  • Ensure the sprint team includes a person with the authority to make decisions such as a manager or team leader. The decision maker is crucial so the team can move on.
  • A design expert should also be present.

Toolkits and resources

Reviewed 29 April 2020

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