Releasing a digital product may be a long and tedious journey with uncertain results, if any at all. What if you could launch your product faster, easier, and with tangible results? These are but a few benefits of Product Design Sprint.
What is Product Design Sprint?
It is a 5-day series of workshops based on Google Ventures’ design sprints including research, design, prototyping, and testing. PDS focuses on answering critical business questions and verifies the outcomes with customers. Because it condenses key strategic steps into a well-organized package, you can concentrate on what is really important - your digital project.
These are the 6 ways a design sprint can help you release your digital project:
1. Focus on what matters
On the first day of the workshops, we methodically discover your business needs, user needs, and technology capacities. This allows us to decide on the main goal and to focus on it. Also, understanding technical challenges and risks lets us conceive a realistic estimation for product design and development.
Benchmarking competition and creating personas is also an important part of this process. It entails deeper market research and is key for not only product design, but also for building the entire marketing strategy, including your go to market and future launch.
Having laid the foundations, we can concentrate on the important things, so we will be able to develop what is indeed necessary.
2. Use the full potential
During a design sprint, a multidisciplinary team works together and exchanges ideas, learning from each other. The team includes both domain knowledge holders and client-side-ideators - each voice is heard and considered equally important. More than just a project manager and product designer engage in the sprint (the latter leading the workshop) - we may also ask for the help of developers. This way a feasibility check is performed, where developers can immediately verify whether creative ideas are possible to be implemented.
The team explores all possibilities and ideas through brainstorming sessions, analyses, and other workshop methods (individually or in groups) on the second day of the sprint, called the divergence day.
3. Collaborate effectively & align internally
The third stage of the workshop is all about selecting the best ideas in a group discussion and verifying them against the main goal as set up on Day 1. The outcomes are then turned into a roadmap, sitemap or a process map, which will be used for crafting a prototype.
The prototype - the customer-facing surface of the digital product - is built on the 4th stage of the sprint, and is then tested with customers (neutral users selected based on the personas defined on the first day). Now any potential pain points or major problems with the product can be easily detected.
This stage will validate your solutions before you start spending your money on designing and developing an actual product, thus reducing the risk. If the test proves failure of the product - it will simply not be developed and you will not spend your time and money on something nobody wants. Or, you may go on and build it in the direction desired by the testers.
5. Plan better
With the prototype tested, the post-MVP phase allows much more space and enough lead time to plan resources better. Knowing your customers’ reactions to the prototype, and potentially discovering any areas of your digital project which need more effort, you can estimate your development and design work more realistically.
6. Save time & money
A design sprint is designed for 5 stages focused on the following:
1- Understand - business and users needs, the goals, and the market
2- Diverge - explore ideas
3- Decide - select the best ideas and draft a roadmap
4- Prototype - focus on business value & usability
5- Validate - test with real users
Because the process produces a prototype, or an MVP, within just a couple of days, the collected ideas get pre-tested and pre-screened in a time dramatically shorter than in the case of tedious months of traditional development. Not only is the risk of failure minimized, but the costs of work are incomparably lower.
Moreover, the prototype can be transmitted directly to developers who will immediately know what to do and understand your vision, thus saving you months of work.