Design sprints were created by a team at Google Ventures to “solve big problems and test new ideas in 5 days”. We run design sprints with a Makemedia twist.
The design sprint is a process for testing big ideas, fast. In line with Lean thinking, it encourages validation of ideas before committing effort to delivering them (and avoiding expensive product misfires).
The week starts by setting a goal and understanding the company and its domain. It then moves on to idea generation and evaluation before sketching and prototyping a solution. The sprint ends with user testing the prototype to decide if the idea is worth pursuing further.
The design sprint is most effective for developing the ideas that you are uncertain of but that have the potential for high impact. The aim is to create a prop for conversation with potential customers, rather than a fully featured application.
By using silent critique, dot voting and straw polls for decision making we quickly identify the best ideas without wasting time on the stinkers, falling victim to groupthink or the HiPPO (highest paid person’s opinion). Ideas are forced to sell themselves and be self-descriptive to avoid selecting ideas with the most persuasive sales pitches.
Since we often work in complex domains we may add an extra day into the sprint for the team to familiarise themselves with domain. However since we partner with subject matter experts during the design sprint we don’t have to learn everything! This is a modification to the design sprint as the original is more focused on mass market products.
If you like the idea of going from a blank piece of paper to a working prototype in 5 days, you’re not alone…! We think this is one of the most effective strategies out there, and it’s cost effective too. Read our blog post about a design sprint in action, or get in touch to find out more.
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