Design Sprints. One of our favourite methods. Validate ideas in just 5 days.

First, what is a Design Sprint?

A Design Sprint is 5-day process that allows you to look into the future and learn how your customers respond to new ideas before spending large amounts of time and money. The process is developed by Jake Knapp at Google Ventures. The popular book Sprint came out in 2016. 

We’ve started experimenting with design sprints in 2015. Since then, we’ve helped over 40 clients using this method. We also organise masterclasses on the design sprint process.

A Sprint starts with a big challenge. It takes the team through a full design cycle. From understanding the problem on day 1 to interviewing the end-user on day 5 when he interacts with a prototype of the designed solution.

Validate your assumptions before spending huge amounts time and money on building and launching a product.

When should you consider a Design Sprint?

Taking new innovative digital products to market can be a long road. You better be sure you are building the right thing. Design Sprints are a way to look into the future. Design and prototype your product in a very short time and validate your assumptions with real users.

Design Sprints make ideas tangible. It involves important stakeholders in the process. It is great for kicking off projects that face a big challenge. We use it also for validating a suggested product pivot or to validate large new features.

Some challenges we took on using design sprints 

  • For Ziggo we facilitated 3 Design Sprints to better explain a complex product proposition to the wide target group of b2b customers.
  • For ANWB we looked into the future of what the "Wegenwacht Pechhulp app" could be in a few years time.
  • For Sita we wanted travellers to check in bagage within 1 minute. This resulted in the Drop Fly user interface.
  • For Radio 538 we prototyped and tested ideas for the new radio app.
  • For Das we validated an idea to provide instant legal aid and advice without the need of legal insurance.
"Ideas we’d been brooding on for months - designed & tested within a week. Such a boost, so much momentum! It saved us endless meetings."

What outcomes can you expect from a Design Sprint?

By the end of a Design Sprint, you will have a prototype of a new or improved idea, product or feature that has been tested with end-users. You will have a much better picture of the problem you are trying to solve. A lot of hard questions have been answered. You might have a clear plan for next steps.

The Design Sprint agenda

This is how it works: on Monday you identify the problem, on Tuesday you come up with solutions, on Wednesday you pick the best solutions, on Thursday you make a prototype and Friday you will test that prototype.

The Design Sprint process

Design sprint roles

At least three disciplines are represented in every design sprint team.

The Decider

Brings domain knowledge, makes decisions and directs the project in the right direction. Normally, he or she is a Product Owner, Product Manager or – in a small organization – a Director. Pick one Decider for your sprint. Choosing more Deciders will get you in trouble.

The Prototyper

Makes the prototype. He or she is familiar with modern tools like InVision, Principal and Sketch. Usually, the Prototyper is working as UX / UI Designer or as Front End Developer. In order to keep up pace, we usually have two Prototypers in a sprint. Sometimes even more.

The Facilitator

Takes care of a smooth process. He or she knows the ‘Sprint’ book from A to Z and he or she usually works as Project Manager or Scrum Master. Don’t you have a Facilitator available? Hire one for this project.

Map the problem, define chances and find the sweet spot

Ideas, ideas, ideas!

Did we get you excited about design sprints? Ready to make your business idea tangible and testable? We can tell you all about the checklist, tools, and roles that come along with design sprints as well. If you like to use our expertise for your own sprint, feel free to e-mail us at hello@hike.one

If you'd like to learn how to run your own design sprints, sign up for one of our upcoming masterclasses on Running Design Sprints.

Hey! We wrote about Design Sprints in Dutch too!

Kickstart your own idea?

Let's get in touch

Projects that started with a Design Sprint

More on Design Sprints

Event

Design Sprint Workshop at TU/e. Students only.

Matthijs Collard - 10 October 2017
Article

Your first Design Sprint: do these 3 things first

Martijn Pillich - 24 November 2016
Work

The brand new Radio 538-app

Jimmy Goedhart - 10 October 2017