Design Sprint Introduction

Design Sprint is a method developed by Jake Knapp, of Google Ventures and author of the book “Sprint”. By means of a Design Sprint, complex business questions are made transparent in five steps, where each step represents a day. A five-day Design Sprint is seen as a process in which questions are answered in a relatively short period of time and in which feedback is obtained from users.

The goal of a Design Sprint is to eventually arrive at a prototype after five days that is presented to the target group. By testing this prototype, the team knows whether the idea fits the target group. The Design Sprint is therefore a very cheap and efficient method.

It is very important to properly prepare a Design Sprint. To start a Design Sprint, a team of up to seven people must be put together. Such a team includes a business owner, facilitator, designer, product designer, marketer and stakeholder. By working together on an issue from one team, support is created among everyone.

The design sprint: provide insight into and solve complex business questions
The design sprint: provide insight into and solve complex business questions

To organize a five-day Design Sprint, it is often decided to do this within one working week. The first day and step stand for understanding the issue, day two for devising solutions, day three for assessing and adapting solutions and ideas, day four for making a prototype, which is tested on day five at the target group and on this day the team takes the next steps.

Executing the Method

  • Step 1: Prepare

    Make sure you are well prepared to start a Design Sprint. The most important thing is a correct and clear formulation of the question. It is also very important to put together a team, including a facilitator who facilitates the entire week. A war room is needed with enough whiteboards, flip-overs, post-its, writing/drawing materials and a space to move around with furniture. Make sure that each day/step with associated findings is given a separate meeting place in the room. This creates an overview.

  • Step 2: Start Design Sprint

    After all preparations have been made, a start can be made on the Design Sprint. On day one, understanding the issue is central. In addition, formulate the goals, make a visual roadmap/planning for the coming days and collect knowledge and insight about the issue. All information is written down and collected in one place.

  • Step 3: Come up with solutions

    On day two, all insights from day one are used to come up with solutions for the issue. First, check all existing/related ideas, and then outline new solutions and ideas. On day two, also invite five users for day five to test the prototype.

  • Step 4: Assess solutions

    All ideas from day two are assessed on day three, for example, use the COCD-Box. Then select up to three solutions that have the most impact. One or more prototypes will be made of the best three, determine that in the team.

  • Step 5: Making a prototype

    The goal of day four is to make a prototype. An example of the solution that is as realistic as possible is produced with as little effort as possible.

  • Step 6: Testing

    Day five is devoted to prototype testing. Interview all five invited testers one by one about the issue. Then present the prototype to the invitees and have them tested. Then all testers report their findings. Write down all improvements and make an action plan for next steps.