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.

Running a design sprint with a screen and laptop
Design sprints can work well remotely with careful use of the right tools

Remote-friendly

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.

If you're looking for expertise to see you through your own Design Sprint process, look no further than Clearleft’s excellent team.
Jake Knapp
Jake Knapp, Creator of the Google Ventures Design Sprint

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:

Pre-Sprint: Planning

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.

Four people working through design sprint exercises at desks

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 were able to make rapid progress on one of our biggest challenges, make some important decisions, and turn out a great-looking prototype. It really was like fast-forwarding into the future. An awesome result for three weeks of work.
Alex Glancy, Head of Creative, Virgin Holidays

We helped Attraction Tickets Direct to identify and fix issues in their checkout process.

The Design Sprint provided the perfect structure to achieve our goals. Clearleft facilitated a fun and collaborative environment, which energised and engaged the team, and enabled us to push through changes that would have internally taken years.
Chris Bradshaw, Sales & Marketing Director, ATD

We worked with Suffolk Libraries to design a digital self-service kiosk which helped them improve customer service while saving money.

I can’t recommend this kind of research sprint enough. We got a report, detailed technical validation of an idea, mock ups and a plan for how to proceed, while getting staff and stakeholders involved in the project – all in the space of 5 days.
Leon Paternoster, Deputy Head of IT, Suffolk Libraries
Chris running a design sprint workshop in a large glass room at UX London
Running our Design Sprint 102 workshop at UX London

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.