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. 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.[1]

How it started[edit]

In 2010, a handful of pioneers from different parts of the Google ecosystem—UX designers, engineers, researchers, and product managers—started looking for ways to break from the tyranny of back-to-back 30-minute meetings and the challenges of working cross-functionally. A few people who had been trained in IDEO's design thinking approach began experimenting, remixing different methods—user research, business strategy, and even psychology—into something that could supercharge their work on bold, never-been-done before projects.[2]

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[3])
  • Opportunities for improvement of a service.[4]
  • Supporting organisations in their transformation towards new technologies (e.g., AI). [5]
A facilitator delivering an remote design sprint workshop with participants on screen.
A facilitator delivering an remote design sprint workshop with participants on screen.


The 'understand' phase of a design sprint workshop

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 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. ^ "Off To The Races: Getting Started With Design Sprints – Smashing Magazine". Smashing Magazine. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "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.
  4. ^ "Service design sprints deliver speedy solutions". reminetwork. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
  5. ^ "About AI Design Sprints". 33A. Retrieved 2020-03-06.
  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.