Absolutely! The design sprint has been behind some of the most successful and popular products on the market. Lego, Uber and N26 are just three examples of products which used the design sprint to fast-track their way through design, prototyping and testing processes.
Big name brands, such as Google, Adidas and Airbnb are also using design sprints to get their products to market in record time, and they highlight just how successful design sprints can be.
Delivering measurable and assessable results, the design sprint provides an effective way of developing new products in a faster and more cost-effective environment than ever before. Condensing months or even years of work into a matter of days, you can see what works and what needs refining before you move on to building and releasing your final product.
An important point to remember is that often design sprints are used for just part of a product, not the whole thing. Design Sprints are great for solving specific problems.
How does the design sprint work?
Products and services can spend years in development before they’re released, and some may not even make it to the launch stage. Whilst research is a crucial part of product development, if the development process takes too long it can become unnecessarily costly. By speeding up the process, the design sprint keeps your team on track and provides the data you need to improve your product at every stage.
Comprising five phases over just four days, a design sprint will revolutionise the way you work. When launching a new product, extending a service or adding new features to an existing product, you can use the following design sprint phases to hone your new market addition and get the best product to your client base:
In this initial phase, you’ll identify your value proposition, target audience and business opportunity, as well as the competition you’ll face. In addition to this, you’ll agree how success can be measured within the confines of the product in question and its market. By devising recognisable and measurable success metrics, you’ll have a reliable gauge to use throughout the remaining phases, and this will help you to improve the design and delivery of your new product.
Now is your chance to get creative. Without limits and without concern for feasibility, you’ll be encouraged to develop a whole host of ideas and solutions which could enhance your product, your value proposition and any current barriers to success. Exploring ideas in this way helps the creative process and ensures your entrepreneurial brain isn’t limited by issues of cost, delivery method and viability. With these out of your mind, you’ll be free to develop the most innovative and ground-breaking ideas, putting you ahead of the competition and the rest of the industry.
With a myriad of ideas and data behind you, you’ll be able to identify the concepts which complement the next product cycle. Using storyboarding to assist you, your team will streamline ideas, mixing the best concepts to build something which hits your targets.
User journey maps and user flow charts are a great way to understand how your customers and clients will interact with your new product, and, therefore, which of your existing designs are the most viable.
By collating your team’s ideas, assessing their feasibility and likelihood of success, you’ll decide as a team which idea to push forward with. After working together throughout the first two phases, any ideas which are still up for discussion are likely to be borne from a collaborative approach. With each member of the team contributing ideas, the final decisions can be made as to which idea has the most chance of success.
Creating a prototype brings your product to life, and it will be the first chance you have to see what your users will be presented with. Using materials produced throughout earlier stages of the sprint, your prototype will bring together the best ideas, features and value propositions in order to create the greatest version of the product to date.
Using a range of tools, such as Figma, Sketch, Marvel and Invision, a working prototype can be created in no time, which means your design sprint will be on track and hitting your time-related deadlines and targets.
With a fully-functional prototype in place, you’re ready to unleash your product on to real-life users. Giving them the opportunity to fully interact with your new product, you’ll gain invaluable insight into user behaviour and thought processes. With extensive feedback, you’ll be able to make further enhancements and changes to ensure your product has the best chance of success when it reaches the market.
Why use design sprints?
Businesses routinely spend too much on the development phase of a product, and this can be a costly waste of resources. By using design sprints, your business can identify potentially successful products quickly and within a time-managed environment. Whilst still allowing for unharnessed creativity, sprints give your team a realistic timeframe in which to develop a new product.
Furthermore, design sprints reduce the risk of bringing a failing product to market. With numerous opportunities to refine and modify the product, your team can overcome the obstacles which may limit the success of your product and ensure that these are overcome by the time your product is in the hands of users.
By reducing risk, minimising costs and speeding up the development process, design sprints are an effective way of streamlining both design and development. Easily identifiable metrics of success and deliverables will ensure your design sprint achieves its aims and that your business benefits from the efficiency and efficacy design sprints can bring to the process of product development.