For the uninitiated, a design sprint is a week-long collaborative design exercise, aimed at solving a small but well-defined problem. A good example could be improving your checkout experience. However, at Dwaiter we have used design sprints for everything from creating a social platform for the University of Rochester to prototyping a new voice search user interface.
The sprint uses a range of common UX processes like customer interviews, user journey mapping, Invision prototyping and dot voting. But rather than being spread over several months, the process is compressed into five days.
Quickly validate ideas
The longer you spend working on something, whether it’s a prototype or a real product, the more attached you’ll become, and the less likely you’ll be to take negative test results to heart. This timeline is intended to compress months of time designing and developing an entirely new product into a single week by validating only specific features or ideas with real user feedback.
From abstract to concrete
You can also run a sprint anytime you have a problem or idea that is too big or too abstract to fully commit to. Sprints bring together your team and enable them to evaluate and rationally eliminate options and identify potentially viable solutions to move forward with in a matter of days.
At the end of the day
The beauty of a design sprint is that at the end of the week after testing, your users will show you what they need. Testing these possible solutions helps answer any questions you may have and gives your team a much clearer understanding of which direction to move in. It can also help you course-correct and avoid building the wrong product.
Sprints can give your company the confidence to get more done, not just during the sprint, but down the road. And the best part is you don’t have to spend months to make it happen. You just have to try a sprint.