Design Sprint

5 Phases of a Design Sprint

Design process typically takes about 5 days and comprises of the following steps. While each step represents one day of intense collaboration.

Day 1: Exploration phase

In this initial phase, the team comes together to understand the business from various angles and use their shared knowledge by collaborating ideas for creating a shared brain. Typically, experts share their knowledge through a 10-15 minutes session and discuss about different aspects of the business problem, where one member may share ideas about the business case and the other member may share facts about competitor audit etc. The Sprint Master captures these different ideas and information which is shared through the whiteboard, where the rest of the team members use them for references to go ahead with the Sprint process.

Day 2: Sketch phase

The team members get an opportunity to brainstorm and come up with different solutions to the business problem, where all the invidual members contribute which results in innovative ideas. These ideas are expanded in the later stages of the design sprint.

Day 3: Decision phase

The decision regarding which ideas need to be prototyped is taken in this phase, where each member presents their solution sketch and a voting is held. However, this may always not lead to a consensus due to difference of opinions. In such cases, a silent review may be done where each member hangs the sketch on the wall and the core member spends some time reviewing and discussing each of the sketches. For this method, it’s important that there is adequate time allotted to the members to create well-articulated sketches that can stand on their own, without requiring much explanation.

Day 4: Prototype phase

In Design Sprint, prototype is used in a different way compared to standard product development, which is more used like an experiment to test the hypothesis. Here the team has to decide what they would like to build to gain a feedback which will validate or invalidate their hypothesis.

Day 5: Validate phase

This is one of the most crucial phases, where the team members can witness live users interacting with their ideas and providing their valuable feedback that can point at various issues in the design to make quick improvements. In most of the product teams, the UX designer or the researcher typically deals with the users, but in a Design Sprint every member of the team gets a chance to be part of the validation session. This is key to capturing some of the learnings, putting different concepts to test using real time user feedback.