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 with the aim of reducing the risk when bringing a new product, service or a feature to the market. It has been developed through independent work by many designers, including those within GV (formerly, Google Ventures), and those at Boston-Based User Experience Agency Fresh Tilled Soil. Two books have been published on the approach so far — one by Jake Knapp with co-authors John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz [1] and another by C. Todd Lombardo, Richard Banfield, and Trace Wax.[2]

At GV, the design sprint concept developed from a vision to grow UX culture and the practice of design leadership across the organization. Multiple teams within Google experimented with different methods from traditional UX practice, IDEO, the Stanford dSchool and a range of other disciplines. The process aims to help teams to clearly define goals, validating assumptions and deciding on a product roadmap before starting development. It seeks to address strategic issues using interdisciplinary, rapid prototyping, and usability testing. This design process is similar to Sprints in an Agile development cycle.[3]

Possible uses[edit]

Claimed uses of the approach include

  • Launching a new product or a service.
  • Extending an existing experience to a new platform.
  • Existing MVP needing revised User experience design and/or 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])
  • Opportunities for improvement of a service.[5]


Design Sprint workshop in Switzerland with the team of Design Sprint Ltd (Understand phase)

The creators of the design sprint approach, recommend preparation by picking the proper team, environment, materials and tools working with six key 'ingredients'.[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 usability testing with 5-6 people from the product's primary target audience. Ask good questions.[7]


The main deliverables after the Design sprint:

  • Answers to a set of vital questions
  • Findings from the sprint (notes, user journey maps, storyboards, information architecture diagrams, etc.)
  • Prototypes
  • Report from the usability testing with the findings (backed by testing videos)
  • A plan for next steps
  • Validate or invalidate hypotheses before committing resources to build the solution


The suggested ideal number of people involved in the sprint is 4-7 people[8] 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.).


  1. ^ "About". The Sprint Book by Jake Knapp with John Zeratsky and Braden Kowitz. Retrieved 2017-12-26.
  2. ^ Richard, Banfield. Design sprint : a practical guidebook for building great digital products. Lombardo, C. Todd,, Wax, Trace, (First ed.). Sebastopol, CA. ISBN 9781491923146. OCLC 922640422.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  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. ^ "Service design sprints deliver speedy solutions". reminetwork. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
  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. ^ GV (2016-03-04), Kevin Rose talks 'Sprint' with GV's Jake Knapp and Daniel Burka, retrieved 2016-03-08