If you’re looking to improve your product or service, a design sprint is a great way to do it. But there are some important steps to follow if you want to get the most out of this process. Read this article for five tips on how to successfully implement a design sprint!
A design sprint is a process to effectively and efficiently solve a problem that any business may face.
At Koridor, we use a 5 step system for design sprints when beginning a new project with our clients, and also internally to support our own operations. Design sprints facilitate a thorough understanding of a problem at hand, ensuring everyone who is involved has the same information. Collaborative and individual perspectives are considered, and the solution is brought to life and tested. The ultimate goal of the design sprint is to provide a well-balanced and focussed solution that truly solves a problem a business is dealing with. The design sprint grounds and tempers our expectations into something real and usable when it comes to the solution.
The five steps we use are;
STEP ONE – UNDERSTAND
Step one is to understand, and it is the most important step as it lays the foundation for the entire design sprint. This is where a company needs to understand the problem in full and align each project member’s knowledge about the problem. Businesses should dig deep into all the variations of the problem to determine its root causes, and everything that it could potentially affect. It is pivotal that everyone involved in the design sprint has the same understanding. A business should gather the goals and perspectives of each client, and define a clear problem statement that becomes the basis of the project. Along with this, one should create tangible goals and metrics that can be used to measure the success of the project. Once everyone is on board, a business can move on to step two.
STEP TWO – EXPLORE
Step two is to explore. It’s time for each project member involved to break off and internalize the ideal solution to the problem statement in their minds. Each person should explore their vision for the product and start to organize their thoughts on paper. They write down their needs, wants, and things that businesses would consider as “nice-to-have’s”. View the project as individuals—with unique roles and unique requirements. This acknowledgement of perspective is very important to this step. Members responses should be broad and inspired, but still well-articulated—the goal here is to leave no stone unturned, to exhaust all potential solutions with creativity.
STEP THREE – CONVERGE
Step three is to converge. All members of the project reconvene and bring their ideas together and make some decisions. It’s critical to first explain the perspective and context of each individual’s vision before diving into a potential solution. Every aspect from the explore phase needs to be gauged against the original problem statement to determine if it can and should be a viable part of the solution. As an extension to step one, converging provides each project member greater insight into who will be utilizing the solution, how they will use it, and why. Businesses should eventually boil down their explorations into a feasible and focussed product design. A conceptual consensus is reached, and now they are ready for step four.
STEP FOUR – PROTOTYPE
Step four. It’s time to prototype. Businesses will breathe life into their designs and get experimental. The functionality and purpose of the product is already set in stone, but the look and feel now needs to be iterated. Prototypes allow businesses to get hands-on with the user interface and user experience of the solution. No need to fully flesh out any single prototype, the goal here is to try out as many variations of the brainstormed solution as possible, and explore all workflows. Oftentimes designs change drastically once users actually see and use the product, so this step allows businesses to explore various tweaks on the original design to find the best solution without having several costly back-and-forth’s during development.
STEP FIVE – TEST
The final step is to test. Rarely is a solution bulletproof immediately after being made. All members of the project representing different use-cases need to try their best to find bugs, issues, and oversights that need to be addressed before the product can go live. Feedback is encouraged and alterations are made, until we eventually arrive at a validated concept. Robust testing ensures quality solutions that are long-lasting and effective.
A design sprint can turn unorganized chaos into accurate expectations. It unveils the true problems and goals of a client, and produces realistic and pragmatic solutions as a team—all while encouraging speed and innovation. This makes planning and budgeting far more reliable as scope is analyzed and deadlines are proven.
Follow the five steps of a design sprint to bring your projects into full focus, driving efficiency and guaranteeing a well thought-out and effectively executed solution.
If you would like to learn how to improve the efficiency of your development practices, we would love to help.
Book a no pressure discover call here and one of our Koridorks will get back to you as soon as they can!