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Design Sprints: What are they and How Can They Help Your Business?

Written by the
The BTNG Design Team

Design Sprints are design-oriented, time-limited workshops that have been used by companies like Google and Amazon. The design process is broken down into five steps: empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test. These design sprints can be an extremely useful tool for businesses looking to innovate or improve their design. In this article, we will give you an overview of what design sprints are and how they can help your business!

About the BTNG Design Team

Thinking like a designer can renovate the way businesses create and develop their product offerings, processes, services, and strategy. It gives amateurs who cannot utilize creative tools access to tackle a wide array of challenges.

Table of Content

What is the goal of a Design Sprint?

The goal of a Design Sprint is to design and prototype a solution within five days that delivers meaningful value for the user. Design Sprints are not just about finding an idea, but also validating it before investing time in development.

Why does a Design Sprint align with your Business Strategy?

Does your Business Strategy require improving existing services, products or creating new ones? If you answered yes to any of these, Design Sprints can help. Conducting user research, creating a realistic prototype and facilitating user testing are ingredients for the recipe we call "success". When the Design Sprint Begins, we have a design idea and an objective for the design. We know what critical business questions need to be answered, but don't necessarily have the solution yet.

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Does your Business Strategy require improving existing services, products or creating new ones? If you answered yes to any of these, Design Sprints can help.

Who should be part of your Design Sprint Team?

The team you bring into the Design Sprint Week is always a small team. We always prefer having an entire team with a good mix of people. Depending on how your company is structured, this might be a great opportunity to introduce some sweet Silo-breaking setup. Combine Sales, Marketing and Support with Management for example.

What is the Design Sprint Process?

The process of a Design Sprint is broken down into five steps: empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test.

Design Sprint Day 1: Understand

On the first day of a Design Sprint, you start by making sure you understand the challenge. On this day you go through the design process and identify what’s in need of design.

Design Sprint Day 2: Sketch & Decide

On the second day, a design team sketches out ideas to solve the problem identified on the first day. A design sprint is focused on generating lots of quick designs rather than going deep into one specific idea. Each team member gets the chance to design their own idea and then share it with the team.

On this day you decide which design to prototype on Day Three. The design should provide a Minimal Viable Solution that solves what is identified as the problem from Day One, but also has legs for further improvement if needed in later stages of design or development.

Design Sprint Day 3: Prototype

On the third day of a Design Sprint, BTNG Designers are working closely together with your colleagues to design a realistic prototype that solves your identified problem. We collaborate on content but also missing information and drafting interview questions.

Design Sprint Day 4: Test

True to our Design Thinking approach, validation is an essential part of our core values & beliefs. We test our prototypes with real users to see if our idea is actually the solution we need. How do they use it? Is the design understandable? What are some potential roadblocks?

How do you plan for a Design Sprint?

Even tho the Design Sprint itself is a four-day process, we schedule four weeks' time.

Week 1: Preflight

  • Discover: Customer Journey Map
  • Business Goals
  • Target Demographic
  • Insight Interviews

Week 2: Design Sprint

  • Align
  • Ideate
  • Prototype
  • Validate

Week 3: Iteration Sprint

  • Revise
  • Prototype
  • Re-Test

Week 4: Handover

  • Executive Summary
  • Test Recordings & Highlights
  • Interactive Prototype
  • Open Prototype Files

When should you schedule a Design Sprint?

Is there a perfect time to schedule a Design Sprint? Absolutely!

The design sprint is a great opportunity to clarify your vision for the next product iteration. This could be done in anticipation of a big release, or if you're feeling like it's time for some innovation in order to stay competitive as other companies are catching up with features and design aesthetics that have traditionally eluded them.

So if you're considering running a Design Sprint, make sure to Schedule A Call with the BTNG Facilitation Team to discover how we can be of assistance!

User-friendly solutions delivered by user-friendly people. Discover opportunities, find your focus, see results.