There is a fast and cost-effective way to validate your idea: organizing a Design Sprint workshop with a software development company. It lasts for 5 days, and you leave with a prototype, users’ feedback and a clear vision of your product. Let’s see how it’s possible to do it all in a week!
What Is Design Sprint?
Design Sprint is a methodology developed by Google that allows us to solve problems through design, prototyping and testing ideas with real users. It’s a 5-day process, a tested framework, designed to compress the months of work into one week. Each step gives you answers to essential questions connected to your product and business.
Many software development companies organize Design Sprints for their clients in the form of a workshop, which is also called Product Discovery Workshop. It’s an intense week aimed to turn your idea into a clickable prototype and, on the 5th day, show it to real users and gather their feedback.
Design Sprint with a software house it’s an opportunity to work on the product with experienced specialists and learn about potential risks. Above all, it allows you to clearly define your product’s main goal and align all the team under the same vision. What is more, you are able to test your idea with as little investment as possible. Therefore, you learn about your product’s value without spending time and money on development.
Following Google Ventures, creators of the Design Sprint methodology: “The sprint gives teams a shortcut to learning without building and launching.”:
Why Organize Design Sprint Workshop?
Design Sprint is perfect for you if you want to find out if your idea for a digital product has potential. Together with a chosen software development company, you will look for the problems your product can solve and validate the chance for success. Besides, you’re going to discover more about your business potential and goals, as well as your target users. A thorough analysis of possibilities will lead you to create a clickable prototype, which you will test on a group of real users.
Design Sprint workshop can help you with:
- defining a product and creating a shared vision among all the members of your development team, before the development starts,
- learning quickly if your solution responds to target audience’s problems,
- validating new features for your already existing product,
- looking for new solutions for a product that doesn’t engage its users,
- looking for a solution for a problem you’re up against,
- validating an MVP,
- looking for new solutions for a product that does not keep up with the competition.
Design Sprint – Process
The Design Sprint process follows six phases: Understand, Define, Sketch, Decide, Prototype and Validate. Initially, in the Understand phase, you create a knowledge base sharing it across all the workshop participants. Then, in the Define phase, you evaluate everything you’ve learned. You establish the main goal and focus of your workshop. After that, in the Sketch phase, ideas are generated and shared. Each member of a workshop will create sketches. Then, in the Decide phase, you settle up the final concept of a prototype. In the next step, the Prototype phase, the whole team works together to create a prototype of your idea. Finally, in the Validate phase, you present the product to users.
Let’s condense it into 5 days and translate into the 5-day’s Design Sprint workshop activities:
Below, we present how we organize Design Sprint workshops at our company:
On Monday, we choose a target for the whole week. It should be a problem we can solve in 4 days. We set up a long-term goal for our workshop and create a map of a challenge.
The process starts with understanding your business, its goals, requirements, as well as your future users, their problems and expectations. Experts from your company share their knowledge about your audience, competition and market. You explain your vision to designers and developers. Then, the whole team works together, discussing and understanding the problem. We imagine the result and difficulties along the way, and then, figure out the steps to get there and ways to overcome the problems. Everything goes on the whiteboard. The goal is to understand the problem and pick up a target.
Monday’s activities are, among others:
- structured discussions,
- Lightning talks: speakers talk for 10-15 minutes on topics relevant to our challenge; about business goals, competitive analysis, technology review,
- How Might We: we take the insights and pain points from the discussion and Lightning Talks and positively reframe it; this allows us to resolve the challenges positively.
Monday was a day dedicated to understanding the problem and choosing a target for our sprint. On Tuesday, we focus on finding solutions. We use tools like brainstorming, crazy 8’s, solution sketch, storyboarding.
Everyone can express their opinions. Each person that takes part in workshops sketches solutions on paper. The goal is to present the ideas as detailed sketches so that other participants could assess them.
On Tuesday, we also plan Friday customers tests. We need to find and recruit customers that belong to your target audience.
It’s decision time. Wednesday’s goal is to turn our ideas into a hypothesis. On Tuesday, we gathered a stack of solutions – sketches. On Wednesday, each solution is criticized, and we decide which one gives the best chance to achieve the long-term goal established on Monday. After choosing the best solution, it’s time to go back to the storyboard and prepare the prototype’s flow. Selected sketches need to be put on a storyboard – they create the plan for our prototype. We create a detailed plan of what needs to be built and divide tasks between team members.
Today we are working on a prototype of your idea. A prototype will be clickable, ready for user testing. We need to pick the right tools that are fast and flexible. The highest quality won’t be our focus. Above all, we need to deliver just enough quality to make customers understand your product and to cause an honest reaction from them. We review your prototype, do trials, look for mistakes. Thanks to assigned roles, everything will be ready in one day.
On Thursday, the team also needs to make sure that everything is prepared for Friday. Most importantly, we need to confirm the schedule and write a user interview script, which will be crucial tomorrow.
It’s time for testing. Day 5 is all about conducting user interviews and getting their feedback. User answers and reactions let us validate the solution. We learn by watching users’ reactions. It is recommended to do five interviews to see the big patterns.
After the interviews, we organize a sprint retrospective to summarize all the results. We stick up notes to a whiteboard and look for patterns. What is more, we review our long-term goal and questions set up on Monday. At the end of the day, we know what to do next, regarding users’ feedback.
Design Sprints are all about teamwork, and at Appstronauts, we organize it no differently. We need you the most on Day 1 and Day 5, but you are welcome to take part in each day’s activities. That allows us to learn even more about your vision and goals and lets you make the most of the workshop.
Interested in organizing Design Sprint with Appstronauts? Kindly send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll reach you soon!