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What is a design sprint?
Design sprint is a time-bound process, with five phases typically spread over 5 full 8-hour days. it’s one of the method used to go from a design challenge to an actual product.
Design sprint goal is to solve a critical design challenge through designing, prototyping and testing ideas with users.
with design sprint you can compress long months of work into a single week to test solution ideas by real users. and get a real data from realistic prototype testing. Design sprints is used to answer questions, define product directions, figure out cross team strategies and even build team culture.
Some benefits from using design sprint
1- Save time (cut the decision making process from months to 1 week).
2- Sprints create an effective path to bring a product to market.
3- Prioritize the user (putting the user need front and centered).
4- Test the product before lunch (by testing prototype ideas before making any expansive cost decisions).
When to use Design sprint? If you answer yes to any one of the following questions, design sprint could be the correct move:
- Is there many potential solutions to your design challenge?
- Does the design challenge require people from cross-functional teams to weigh in?
- Is the design challenge scope is wide enough for a sprint?
Planning a design sprint:
1- Conduct the required user research focusing on the user problem that our sprint is trying to solve.
2- Call the exports and schedule short talks with colleagues or industry exports. It will help clarify the problem you and your team trying to solve.
3- Find the right space/room to conduct the sprint with your team. (prepare whiteboards, Spaces with comfortable furniture you can move around easily).
4- Gather supplies like markers, sticky notes, water.
5- Establish the roles for the sprint for example gadgets distraction free zone role.
6- Planning introduction between the sprint involved team.
7- Post-sprint planning. Define what will happen once the sprint is finished.
Writing a sprint brief:
A Sprint brief is a document you share with all attendees to help them prepare for the sprint. Example: Design Sprint Brief [Template]
In a design brief you define and write the following points:
1- What is the sprint challenge: introduce your team to the sprint objective.
2- Key deliverables: is what you team actually want to create by the end of the sprint.
3- Logistics: where and when the sprint will happen and who will attend and who is the sprint leader.
4- Approvals: official approval of high managements.
5- Resources: define any required resources or assets.
6- Project overview:
what is the current stats of the project, roadblocks: what stands in our way? State early wins if you have any and outline estimate lunch plan.
7- Sprint schedule: let people know what to expect and prepare for the sprint. Hour by hour. 5 day sprint breakdown with breaks.
The Five phases of design sprints
each phase takes a full working day.
- Understand(day 1)
understanding the design challenge:
in this phase you map out the design challenge and pick an important area to focus on. You will get a clear picture of the problem the sprint intend to solve. There will plenty of short talks by exports that is design to inspire you. So make notes of any thoughts you have.
- Ideate(day 2)
Ideating solutions. sketch out competing solutions on paper. The sprint leader will guide the team into brainstorming activity. To spark creativity and generate many possible solution to the design challenge. Your main focus to is coming up with ideas and putting them out there. Also part of this phase is to prepare the list of users that will test your prototype.
- Deciding which solutions to build(day 3)
Make decisions and turn your ideas into a testable hypothesis.You and your team will decide on the solution with have the greatest chance to success. you will get to vote on the solution everyone think will be most successful.
- Prototyping a few solutions(day 4) Hack together a realistic prototype. Day 4 is all about creating a prototype for the selected solution.
- Testing those prototypes(day 5) Get feedback from real live users.Test day. The final phase where you put the prototype to test. You might asked to collect user feedback and conduct user interviews.
sprint retrospective is a collaborative critique of the team’s design sprint. Immediately following the design sprint, your team should hold a retrospective. The goal of a retrospective is to make sure everyone who took part in the sprint has the chance to give feedback and think about opportunities for improvement.
Retrospective meetings don’t have a specific agenda. The goal is to make sure everyone who took part in the sprint get the chance to give feedback
Key questions in retrospective is:
- What went well?
- What can be improved? areas for improvement your team will want to know what went wrong, so that you all can do better next time.
Answering these questions will help you work better as a team and as an individual.
Retrospectives are very useful, helping you work better as a team. Improve how you communicate with clients. And point out areas where you can grow as an individual.
By the end of the retrospective meeting, your team will have a better understanding of what went well and what could be improved. Naturally, you’ll want to take lessons learned into your next design sprint.
If you want to read more about design sprints a good resource is https://www.gv.com/sprint/
How run a remote design sprint: