Editor’s Note: the following content has been validated by the Lead Product Manager at Facebook.
If you work as a Product Manager, chances are you’ve heard of the Design Sprint. And if you haven’t, well, it’s a good thing you found this article sooner rather than later…
What is a Design Sprint?
“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 feature to the market. Jake Knapp has developed it at Google Ventures”.The Design Sprint – GV
Design Sprints started at Google Ventures (GV) about six years ago. Since then, it has become a powerful movement that helps product teams at Google, developers, and companies in the industry solve design problems quickly.
A Design Sprint helps you put the product in front of your users as quickly as possible. As the founder of Linkedin, Reid Hoffman, once said: “If you are not embarrassed about the first version of your product you show to your users, then it means you launched too late.”Design Sprints also allow you to iterate quickly and bring more value to your users, limiting waste.
In the past, the process is supposed to be:
build -> launch -> measure -> iterate
The issue is that building often takes too long, there’s no going back if you get new info, and the results are inconclusive. A design sprint solves this by forcing a fast ideation/prototype/test cycle.
Hosting your next Design Sprint: Step-by-Step
Make sure to follow these steps to ace your next team’s Design Sprint!
Day 0 – Prepare
Define the problem:
Before your Design Sprint, you must identify the objective by choosing a “big” problem your company needs to solve. Then, you need to go get the right people together to start the process.
You’ll need a designer, a CEO (in case you are in a small startup), an exec who says “yes,” user expert, and yourself (the PM). Ideally, you should also include an engineer, a marketer, any other very interested parties.
Pick a facilitator to manage the sprint/keeps things moving. This person should be confident leading a meeting, including synthesizing discussions and nicely telling people to shut up & be ok speaking less.
If you’re running this experiment in person, get tools like sticky notes, whiteboards, dot stickers, paper, timers, snacks, and tape. If you’re doing it remotely, all you’ll need is to make a copy of our Design Sprint Template and set up a video conference in your platform of choice.
Day 1 – Understand
- Define the sprint challenge with the team.
- Pick a tangible deliverable.
- Understand the context.
- Summarize what’s there now.
- Diagram a current user scenario.
Day 2 – Diverge
Brainstorm as many solutions as possible with the Crazy Eights method by folding a paper in half four times and then unfold. Then, spend five minutes drawing eight sketches, one in each panel. Once everyone’s done, show your drawings to the team.
Now, it’s time to come up with overall group ideas. They should be different than the individual ones.
Day 3 – Decide
On this day, everyone gets stickers they can put on things they like.
Voting Session #1
You start your first voting session by giving everyone enough stickers to vote for what they like. You can even put multiple stickers on ideas you really want.
Once the voting is done, you should gather around each idea and give 3 minutes to each of the voters to talk about it. It would be best if you left “non-authors” out of this process. After the 3 minutes are done, you can give the floor to the authors to mention any missed aspects.
Voting Session #2: Super-vote
After you’ve heard everyone’s comments opinions, it’s time for a final voting session. Everyone gets one last vote sticker to use on their favorite idea except for the CEO and Product Manager, who get two stickers each.
Day 4 – Prototype
This is the time to build a version you can show and test with a user. You can use tools like Balsamiq, Figma, actual code, or even just pen and paper.
Day 5 – User testing
On this day you need to show your prototype to real people and conduct short interviews. Afterward, you should review the feedback and come up with conclusions.
And that’s it! You’re done with the Design Sprint.
We’ve covered the basics of what a design sprint is and how it’s done. But let’s face it, right now, you need to find a way to collaborate online while working remotely or with an international team. This is where our Remote Design Sprint Templates come in handy. We’ve laid it all out in three different platforms: Google Documents, Coda, and Mural.
On Google Slides
This one is for the Product Managers who want something straightforward and easy to use. Gain instant access to the template here.
Collaborative online whiteboards have been taking the tech world by storm! Level up on your Design Sprint by hosting the entire process on this board –Certified by Product School.
Coda is a cloud-based document editor like no other that will help teams organize, delegate, measure, and document everything in one place.
Learn how to validate ideas in record time with this Design Sprint Template created by Coda.
Check out our other templates:
Still, looking for some great templates? Check out our collection:
Product Template: Product Requirements Document
Product Template: Roadmaps
Product Template: Retrospective
Product Template: User Personas
Product Template: Customer Journey Maps
Product Template: User Flow
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