A design sprint is a method used for solving problems through ideation, prototyping, and testing ideas with specifically targeted users.
It was developed at Google, to align teams under a shared vision with clearly defined goals and deliverables. After much success, design sprints are now being adopted by companies, big or small, and from all over the world and within all different industries – from insurance and banking to entertainment.
With a small team and a clear schedule for the week, you’ll rapidly progress from problem to tested solution. On Monday, you create a map of the problem. On Tuesday, each individual sketches solutions. Then, on Wednesday, you decide which sketches are the strongest. On Thursday, you build a realistic prototype. And finally, on Friday, you test that prototype with five target customers.
The Design Sprint Academy has re-engineered the Design Sprint program to effectively establish the problem before the sprint, reduce the duration of the program from 5 to 4 days, as well as refining a number of the core activities to help the team successfully progress through the program.
A successful failure: The prototypes didn’t quite hit the mark, but you learned something and saved your team months of wasted work building the wrong product. Run a follow-up sprint.
An imperfect win: Maybe not all of your ideas met your user’s needs, but you still learned what works, what doesn’t, and the reason behind it. You can iterate and test again.
A valiant victory: The concept met your user’s needs! They were able to solve their problem using your prototype, this means you’re ready to implement!