Design sprints are a great way to rapidly validate or disprove product ideas, whether they’re still fuzzy or crystal clear. Testing with users means you can test a hypothesis before committing to a full-scale project, effectively saving you thousands in sunk cost.
Armed with a wealth of remote tools such as Miro, Figma, Lookback.io and more, our seasoned practitioners achieve the same outcomes as a face-to-face design sprint, but virtually. As with all Clearleft projects, remote means the approach may change, but the outcomes remain the same.
How does a Design Sprint work?
Design sprints allow you to innovate rapidly. They enable teams to find solutions, unblock creativity and unlock innovation. They’re a focused period of time for a dedicated team to tackle fuzzy or difficult problems through collaboration and decision-making techniques. They work well to test a hypothesis before full project committal - a method of identifying, iterating & validating (or more importantly disproving) a problem/idea. They also come with a host of other benefits you may not expect.
We’ll work closely with your team to tailor each Design Sprint to your precise needs, but in general a Design Sprint with Clearleft follows this tried and tested process:
We’ll start off by helping you get a focus for your Design Sprint, assemble your most appropriate team, identify the experts and background information to bring into day 1.
Day 1: Understand and Map
We start by collectively reviewing all the background information, understanding user insights, and gathering input from your experts. By the end of the day, we will all have a shared understanding of the problems and opportunities by mapping out your service.
Day 2: Demos and Sketch
This is when we brainstorm what might be possible. We start with lightning demos of ideas, then get stuck in to sketching. To create concrete, detailed solutions, everyone sketches (artistic ability is irrelevant, it’s the thinking that matters).
Day 3: Decide and Storyboard
Next, we discuss and rank the possible solutions, and pick one of them using structured decision making techniques. This is when your group really starts to rally around a shared goal. We then all storyboard the solution to the point the it can be prototyped.
Day 4: Prototype
The big day. This is when we create a prototype of the solution suitable for testing with users. Clearleft’s designers can do this for you, but we find it yields better long term results if we collaborate with your team on the design.
Day 5: Test
Finally, we’ll test the prototype find out what works for users. You’ll be able to watch the tests in real time, while we record them for future reference.
Post-sprint: Wrap-up and review
We’ll write-up a brief report summarising all the learnings from the week, including the early sketches, final prototype and testing recommendations. We’ll give you a high level plan for what to do with the conclusions and outcomes of the Design Sprint.
Why choose Clearleft for your Design Sprint?
Clearleft has been running Design Sprints, tailored for a wide variety of clients, for many years (even before the term ‘Design Sprint’ was coined).
Some of our Design Sprint successes
We enabled Virgin Holidays to articulate a vision for the future including designs for three new products, by running three consecutive Design Sprints.
We helped Attraction Tickets Direct to identify and fix issues in their checkout process.
We worked with Suffolk Libraries to design a digital self-service kiosk which helped them improve customer service while saving money.
Contact us to discuss your next Design Sprint
Forms not your thing? Email Jon or call + 44(0) 845 838 6163 to talk through your project.
The Design Sprint Canvas
If you’re about to run or participate in a design sprint, download our handy Design Sprint Canvas to guide you through the process.
Whether you’re an experienced hand or sprint novice, print this out and keep it up on the wall throughout the sprint to help keep everything on track.