Developed by GV, formerly Google Ventures, a design sprint is a five-phase process that employs design thinking to solve problems or answer business questions through design, prototyping and testing with customers. The design sprint process was developed at Google as a way to expand UX culture and design leadership in the organization using traditional UX practice, IDEO, the Stanford dSchool, business strategy and psychology to develop a flexible framework that can adapt to your business’ unique goals and culture.
Traditionally, a sprint takes place over five days, which gives you one day to dedicate to each phase in the process. It’s a fast-moving framework that is meant to get your team the best results as fast as possible. The end goal of a successful design sprint is to improve products and services before they’re deployed.
Design sprints start with a team of around four to seven people, which is the recommended team size according to GV. Teams include a facilitator, designer, decision maker, product manager, engineer and someone from a relevant business unit. The decision maker on the team is often the CEO, especially at smaller companies or startups.
A design sprint is intended to move quickly, lasting just five days, and it’s designed to spur ideas and create learning opportunities without having to build and launch a completed product or service. With a design sprint, you can get fast feedback, improve products and services and find new opportunities throughout the five-day sprint by creating a testable prototype. The prototype will allow your team to get a better sense of how customers and clients will react to the finished product, what needs to be changed and what customers enjoyed about the product or service.
Design sprints are broken out into five major phases that take place over the five-day sprint. These phases are intended to help you develop the best team to tackle a project and to guide your business through the design sprint. They also help decision makers choose the best tools and materials, and ensure that the team and environment are best suited to the product or service being developed.
The five phases of a design sprint are meant to take place over the course of five days, starting on Monday. GV even offers structured time tables that you can follow, with step-by-step instructions to guide you through each day, including when to break for lunch.
If you want to learn more about design sprints, you can get started with Google’s Design Sprints Kit, which is an open-source resource. You’ll get access to self-paced learning material that explains the planning process, methodology overview and additional tools and templates to get your design sprint running.
If you want to take a course to learn more about design sprints, there are several options available including:
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Sarah White is a senior writer for CIO.com, covering IT governance, hiring & staffing, and IT jobs.
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