Google Design Sprint Process & Benefits

A Design Sprint is a structured, time-boxed way to solving an issue and building the correct solution (generally with software). It consolidates ideation, software prototyping and customer testing – commonly all in the span of one week. Companies use Design Sprints to create new products, increase existing products and test ideas in a risk-free environment.

The technique was invented and propagated by Jake Knapp at Google Ventures, and incorporates theory and practices from story centered design, lean customer research, design thinking and quick software prototyping. Google Ventures usually conducts Design Sprints on their own portfolio companies.

The Design Sprint

Each of the topics below is generally one day, making the whole procedure one week.

Understand: Participants evaluate the issue they are trying to solve, the personas they are designing for, and the form part they are going to use.

Ideate: Encouraged to let go of all judgment, the team participates in personal and group deliberating to generate as many ideas as they can, regardless of how appropriate or far-fetched they are.

Decide: You won’t be capable to test all the ideas the team appears up with, so you need a structured procedure for deciding which to seek and which to abandon. Sometimes you will test only one version, while other times it makes sense to test two product modifications against each other.

Prototype: This is an intense day of creating a medium-fidelity prototype that is good enough to collect reliable data. Prototypes can feel remarkably “real”, and can be utilized in everything from a sign up procedure, application layout, search engines result, to faking a complex algorithm.

Test: Bring in 5-6 users for 1 hour interviews each. You learn about their lives, their individual experience with your issue, and then watch them use your product. This component is the most stressful, but also the most sharp and fun. Everything the team has discussed for the past week is tested in the real world, with real customers. The goal here is to validate/invalidate product ideas, uncover design flaws, understand your users and basically build a product people need to use.

Deficiency and warnings
  • A Design Sprint won’t make customers love a product they don’t want or need. But it will alert you if this is the case.
  • 5-6 users are a little sample size. As such, it’s critical that you recruit study members that closely represent your target market. No friends. No family. Not the other startups in your co-working space. This can bias your study and give false data.
  • Running a Design Sprint is just a starting to solve the issue, and only so much can be consummate in one week. It might take longer with highly complex products or when running multiple product modifications. It will likely take multiple Design Sprints to truly get the product where it needs to be.
  • Prototypes are not appropriate for every situation or product. Some software applications need high levels of individualized user data to feel “real”. Others have multiple integrations with external products that can be critical to get right. Still, prototypes can be utilized with success in many situations. Ultimately it’s up to you and your team to decide the level of devotion necessary, and how much time/capital needs to go into the prototype.
  • Ideate, creating a “product”, and testing it in front of customers all in the span of one week is about as time and capital economical as it gets. The ROI can be big if you build a solution that resonates with people. And if you invalidate the idea, you just saved possibly months of development time and capital you can now apply to other ideas.
  • Uncover benefit flaws and unknown product hangups. It’s often entirely accessible after the fifth participant what specifically needs to be changed in the app. Good thing you found out now, instead of after spending all that money on development.
  • Team adjustment- Having all the stakeholders work intently together on the same goal and with the same information is strongly uniting. It can rally a team together around the cause and carry energy to finding the best solution probable.
  • Bringing in customers can make the issue feel more concrete. In-depth interviews with the people who use your product civilize the “user”, which can have a positive and developmental effect on the team.
  • Creates a guiding artifact for software development. After the Design Sprint, you now have an applicable, fluid prototype to develop against. This is great to bring to your developers as they can work off of it, saving you time writing specs and allaying development risk.
  • Prototyping frees you from the classical time and capital constraints of building a product to test it. This enables you to try ideas that otherwise wouldn’t be appropriate to test out.
  • Potential to resolve team conflicts around product conflicts. It’s often clear the direction to go after bringing study participants in the office as its strong to contend with unbiased users.
  • Time constraint increases creativity and forces you to make product decisions rapidly. No more shelving a decision until next week – you are forced to deal with it now.
Building good ideas into graceful, thoughtful, attractive solutions is hard. Even harder when you and your clients are not included in the formation of those solutions. Especially for bigger organizations. With faster, better solutions that your clients are utilizing and promoting, there appears a better overall health of your business.

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