What is a Product Design Sprint?
A Product Design Sprint is a five day workshop that uses design thinking to reduce the risks inherent in successfully introducing new products or features. This planning methodology can be effective in moving your company forward, regardless of the stage your business is at. Each day of the sprint corresponds to another stage of solving the problem.
The five phases, which include understanding the problem, prototyping, and user testing, will enable you to better understand your business ideas and needs. Our flow has proved to be effective in finding the right solutions, building new features, and achieving goals.
A Product Design Sprint is a powerful way to explore different perspectives and identify the best way forward for your product or idea.
The design sprint methodology was originally developed at Google by former GV design partner Jake Knapp. The aim was to vastly reduce the time it took to understand and test an idea, learn from the good, and eliminate the problems, all without risking large sums of money in the process.
The result was the ability to condense months’ worth of work into just five days.
Design sprint phases
The first day of a design sprint is all about getting insights – we want to gain a full understanding of your user requirements, business needs, and technology capabilities. Discussion during this stage is essential to create a roadmap for the sprint week.
At the very beginning, we identify long-term goals, obstacles, and challenges. We run some exercises to paint a bigger picture of the problem. At the end of the day, you pick the main goal you want to achieve during the sprint – the aim is to choose a target that is ambitious but manageable and able to be solved in a week. In this phase, we will use tools such as stakeholder mapping and user personas to inform our decision-making.
On the second day, we focus on generating and exploring as many ideas as possible. We’ll first review existing solutions, including their strong and weak points. The participants will also perform exercises to build new insights and develop solutions.
Through brainstorming sessions and individual analyses, each team member will come up with ideas that will later be studied and tested. Customer journey mapping is particularly helpful in this phase for gaining a deeper understanding of how users interact with a product. It is also an important step in identifying user pain points.
At this stage, we’ll have plenty of ideas that the team came up with during the previous two steps, which is great, but they can’t all go forward for testing. The team’s goal now is to identify the best ideas and decide which of them should be prototyped in the following step.
To achieve this, we’ll critique each solution in relation to the main goal. Based on the selected ideas, we’ll create a storyboard and sketch a step-by-step roadmap for building a prototype.
On the fourth day, it’s time to put all that the team has developed into practice. You will turn your storyboard into a prototype – a realistic artifact that you will then test with a customer.
The main assumption here is that you will only build the customer-facing surface of your product or service – the aim is to keep it as low-fi as possible while still allowing you to get answers to your questions. In this way, the prototype will be up and running in just one day – ready for review in the final stage.
There are two common ways to create a prototype – a paper prototype is particularly quick and cheap to create while a digital prototype can be interactive and lets you test interactions more realistically.
GV calls this phase the “moment of truth”. This is when you test your ideas with users, business stakeholders, and technical experts and hear direct feedback from them. You can gain valuable insights from interviewing users and learn by watching as they interact with your prototype.
This stage will validate your solutions before you invest any money on designing and developing your product. At the end of the fifth day, you’ll have a clear idea of the road ahead and know what you should do next.
After the design sprint
In the following weeks, our team will send you a detailed report from the workshops with all materials and canvases digitized including:
- Lo-fi prototypes for some of the user stories
- A project roadmap, broken down into phases
- Pre-defined tasks for each phase
- User journey maps, storyboards, and information architecture diagrams
Benefits of a Product Design Sprint
Depending on your purpose for the Product Design Sprint and the initial problem to be solved, you will get tailored solutions and recommendations that will enable you to generate a unique value proposition for your existing or potential customers. A Product Design Sprint includes in-depth interviews with founders about their product idea, design thinking, and an agile approach.
They have been successfully tested in numerous projects. Clients confirm that they provide an actionable product roadmap for product development or a prevalidated prototype.