Design sprint

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With a Design Sprint, a product doesn't need to go full cycle to learn about the opportunities and gather feedback.

A Design sprint is a time-constrained, five-phase process that uses design thinking to reduce the risk when bringing a new product, service or a feature to the market. It has been developed and popularised by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz and is being used in almost all industries.[1]

With more than 500 new apps entering the market every day, what does it take to build a successful digital product?[2]

This process helps the team in clearly defining goals, validating assumptions and deciding on a product roadmap before one line of code is written. Main pillars of this process: Business strategy, interdisciplinary collaboration, rapid prototyping, and user testing. This design process is similar to Sprints in an agile development cycle[3] that incorporates the same principles of learning early. Design sprints typically last one week.

Examples of situations that invite a Design Sprint[edit]

  • Launching a new product or a service.
  • Extending an existing experience to a new platform.
  • Existing MVP needs an injection of UX / UI Design.
  • Adding new features and functionality to a digital product.
  • Opportunities for improvement of a product (e.g. a high rate of cart abandonment[4])
  • Empowering the team and increase of sharing and collaboration[5]


Before the Design Sprint, prepare by picking the proper team, environment, materials and tools.[6]

  1. Understand: Discover the business opportunity, the audience, the competition, the value proposition, and define metrics of success.
  2. Diverge: Explore, develop and iterate creative ways of solving the problem, regardless of feasibility.
  3. Converge: Identify ideas that fit the next product cycle and explore them in further detail through storyboarding.
  4. Prototype: Design and prepare prototype(s) that can be tested with people.
  5. Test: Conduct 1:1 user testing with (5-6) people from the product's primary target audience. Ask good questions.[7]


The main deliverables after the Design sprint:

  • To get answers to a set of vital questions
  • Findings from the sprint (notes, user journey maps, storyboards, information architecture diagrams, etc.)
  • Prototypes
  • Report from the user testing with the findings (backed by testing videos)
  • A plan for next steps


The Design Sprint has been created and refined by Jake Knapp during his work at GV (formerly, Google Ventures)[8] and have roots at IDEO and the (Institute of Design at Stanford).[9]


The ideal number of people involved in the sprint is 4-7 people[10] and they include the facilitator, designer, a decision maker (often a CEO if the company is a startup), product manager, engineer and someone from companies core business departments (Marketing, Content, Operations, etc.).


2016 was the year of the first Sprint Day[11] (March 8) and Sprint Week (April 18—22)[12] where more than 400+ teams joined in[13] including TIME, YouTube, and Frog Design.

Case studies[edit]

Examples of industries and problems that have successfully used this process in the past:


  1. ^ "About". The Sprint Book by Jake Knapp with John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz. Retrieved 2017-12-26. 
  2. ^ Banfield, Richard; Lombardo, C. Todd; Wax, Trace (2015). Design Sprint. O'Reilly Media. 
  3. ^ "Off To The Races: Getting Started With Design Sprints – Smashing Magazine". Smashing Magazine. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  4. ^ "Why Online Retailers Are Losing 67.45% of Sales and What to Do About It – Shopify". Shopify's Ecommerce Blog - Ecommerce News, Online Store Tips & More. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  5. ^ "A new way to collaborate – Design Sprint". Retrieved 2016-03-12. 
  6. ^ "From Google Ventures, The 6 Ingredients You Need To Run A Design Sprint". Co.Design. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  7. ^ Matveeva, Maria (March 10, 2015). "Ask good questions". Dockyard. 
  8. ^ "The Design Sprint — GV". Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  9. ^ "How To Conduct Your Own Google Ventures Design Sprint". Co.Design. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  10. ^ GV (2016-03-04), Kevin Rose talks 'Sprint' with GV's Jake Knapp and Daniel Burka, retrieved 2016-03-08 
  11. ^ Kadoic, Tin. "If it's not on Wikipedia, it doesn't exist — Hi, Five!". Medium. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "GV Design on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 
  14. ^ "How We Completed a 5 Day Design Sprint in 3 (and Avoided Near Disaster) - The Mobile Majority". The Mobile Majority. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  15. ^ "Design Sprint Case Study: iOS Coaching at thoughtbot". Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  16. ^ Zeratsky, John. "Behind the scenes with Blue Bottle and GV — GV Library". Medium. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  17. ^ Rose, Kevin (2016-03-04). "Check out 'Sprint' (and go behind-the-scenes with Slack): Chapter 10". Medium. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  18. ^ "A design sprint saved this education company from wasting another 12 months". New Haircut. 2016-06-28. 
  19. ^ Beldam, Greg (2014-07-02). "Sprint to the finish: How the Shopify design team brings ideas to customers in a week". Medium. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  20. ^ "Cases | AJ&Smart". AJ&Smart. Retrieved 2017-12-26. 
  21. ^ "The Swiss Tech Convention Center in depth case study". Retrieved 2018-07-04. 
  22. ^ DesignStaffBlog (2012-10-02), CustomMade design sprint with Google Ventures Design Studio, retrieved 2016-03-08 
  23. ^ "Product Design Sprints - QCon 2014". Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  24. ^ "After v1 failed, this startup used a design sprint to get back on track". New Haircut. 2016-05-24. 
  25. ^ "Design Sprint Facilitation: New Haircut". New Haircut. 
  26. ^ Five (2015-12-16), Tin Kadoic - Five design process #izsvesnage, retrieved 2016-03-08 
  27. ^ "A 5 day sprint with Clear Left exploring library self-service machine software – Leon Paternoster". Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  28. ^ "A 5 day sprint with Clear Left exploring library self-service machine software – Leon Paternoster". Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  29. ^ "Miriam's Kitchen Case Study". Amy J. Wilson. Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  30. ^ "Design Sprint Case Study: Merck Development Portal". Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  31. ^ GV (2015-02-02), Behind the scenes: Design sprint with Gimlet Media, retrieved 2016-03-08 
  32. ^ "Central - Have you noticed the new players on... | Facebook". Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  33. ^ "Trulia: Real Estate Listings, Homes For Sale, Housing Data". Retrieved 2016-03-08. 
  34. ^ Google Developers (2014-07-10), Google Design Minutes — Design sprints at scale, retrieved 2016-03-08 
  35. ^ Cortez, Ces (2014-08-03). "Personal Design Sprint II: Food Tracking: Applying the design sprint approach to a side project., I'll be prototyping a native mobile app, I'll be using Keynote, Let's take a look at how I currently track food and how existing solutions tackle the same problem., Why do I need this?, How do I currently track things?, What problems am I trying to solve?, Success metrics, Lightning demos of existing solutions, Lightning demo: MyFitnessPal, Lightning demo: Macros (by Fitocracy), User stories, Put that laptop away, it's time to sketch., Adding items: mind map, Adding items: crazy 8s, Adding items: storyboard, Refine item: mind map, Refine item: crazy 8s, Refine item: storyboard, Assumptions, conflicts, and a detailed storyboard that acts as a spec for building the prototype., Assumptions, Conflicts, Detailed user story: adding items, Detailed user story: refining items, My first dive into Keynote for prototyping., Fake it Till You Make it, Keynote prototype: adding items, Keynote prototype: refining items, What works? What doesn't?, Key questions and answers, Happiness, Google Ventures Library, My first personal design sprint, Others". Medium. Retrieved 2016-03-08.