Design Sprint

A five-day process for testing new ideas
Contributed by

Mike Hepburn

Val Yonchev

Edited by
Published December 19, 2018

What Is Design Sprint?

It is a 5 day customer-centric process for rapidly solving a key challenge, creating new products, or improving existing ones. Design sprints enable you to:

  • Clarify the problem at hand, and identify the needs of potential users
  • Explore solutions through brainstorming and sketching exercises
  • Distil your ideas into one or two solutions that you can test
  • Prototype your solution and bring it to life
  • Test the prototype with people who would use it The process phases include: Understand, Define, Sketch, Decide, Prototype and Validate.

Why Do Design Sprint?

The aim is to fast-forward into the future to see your finished product and customer reactions, before making any expensive commitment. It is a simple and cheap way to validate major assumptions, the Big question/s and point to the different options to explore further through delivery. This set of practices reduces risks when bringing a new product, service or a feature to the market. Design Sprints are the fastest way to find out if a product or project is worth undertaking, if a feature is worth the effort, or if your value proposition is really valid. For the latter one should also consider running a Research Sprint. It compresses work into one week and importantly tests the design idea and provides real user feedback in rapid fashion.

How to do Design Sprint?

A Sample Agenda

By now there are many different variations of the format. You may come across the Google variation, a GV variation, the Design Sprint 2.0 (which is the agenda shown below). The best is to try different variations and judge which one works for what context.


  • Intro * How Might We * Map * Lightning Demos * Notes Taking * Crazy 8's * Long Term Goals * Sprint Questions * Lightning Demos * Drawing Ideas * Start user test recruiting * Develop Concepts


  • Decide on Solution * Storyboard design * Decider Vote * Storyboard Final Walk-through * User test recruiting


  • Prototype creation * User test preparation * Interview room setup


  • Testing with end-users * Analyse results and prepare findings


  • Showcase (demonstrate process & findings)

Look at Design Sprint

Links we love

Check out these great links which can help you dive a little deeper into running the Design Sprint practice with your team, customers or stakeholders.

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