Importance of Design Sprints and Prototyping Digital Ideas

The Design Sprint is the latest development that enables clients and design companies to create prototype ideas in half the time it should have taken initially. It is a five-day process geared towards gathering insights on specific anticipated software users, different prototype ideas, and validation of those ideas.

4.5.2021

According to Google Ventures, “The sprint is a five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers.” During the five days, you’ll be brainstorming ideas, eliminating excesses, exploring possibilities to arrive at a practicable conclusion on a particular prototype idea to verify its readiness in building a successful business online and or onsite.

Having known what a design sprint is, prototyping ideas involve design thinking research, foresight, and testing different results to make sure the prototype works best. In a design sprint, designers, developers, product owners, users, anyone can collaborate on the project, brainstorm ideas in five days and arrive at numerous ideas, prototypes, and lots more. 

GV Guidelines on creating a design sprint in five days

In creating design sprints and prototyping ideas to verify readiness in building a successful business, it is essential to have the right combination of a team who is well informed about the project at hand to arrive at the desired destination in the anticipated time. Of equal importance is choosing the correct challenge, time, and space to achieve the set task. Here’s how a normal five-day sprint design process goes; this, however, is always customized based on user needs.

Monday: This day creates a path for the sprint week through structured discussions. The first is to start from the end by agreeing on a long-term goal, then drawing a chart for the challenge. In the afternoon, experts will share what they’ve gathered, and lastly, pick an ambitious but achievable piece of the challenge to solve by the end of the week.

Tuesday: The focus of this day is on solutions after spending a day understanding the problem and picking the right target for your sprint. The day starts with a review of existing ideas, remix, and improvement. The afternoon finds each person sketching and following a four-step process that stresses critical thinking over artistry. 

You are also planning Friday’s customer test by recruiting appropriate customers for your target profile.

Wednesday: During this day, you’ll be critiquing each prototyping idea developed in the previous days and deciding which one gives the best chance to achieve the long-term goals. “Then, in the afternoon, you’ll take the winning scenes from your sketches and weave them into a storyboard: a step-by-step plan for your prototype.”

Thursday: A “fake it” philosophy is adopted to turn the storyboard from the previous day into a prototype. You use a realistic façade to test the customer-facing surface of your service or product, which you can do in one day. By the end of the day, everything should be ready for the Friday test by reviewing the prototype, affirming the schedule, and writing an interview script to be used on the customers.

Friday: From the previous day’s sprints, promising solutions must have been found by now. Then, you interview selected customers and learn by watching their reaction to your prototype. After interviews and the day, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve gone and come to a conclusion on what next to do.

Benefits of design sprints and prototyping digital ideas

Building design sprints and prototyping ideas to verify readiness in building a successful business has much importance attached to it. Some of them are: 

● Enables users’ feedback at the prototyping stage: With a design sprint, you will build products that users will love and use. That couldn’t be possible without users involved in the building process, and the end product will be better by their suggestions, reactions, and likes. User feedback also increases confidence in the market-fit of a product. With a correctly performed design sprint, you never have to worry about receiving negative user feedback after a launch.

● Visibility and Alignment: Working on design sprints brings different multi-talented teams together to tackle the massive challenge; this breaks boundaries between various parts of an organization. Working together gives the whole group visibility to the same data, and these insights help to motivate the team on a common goal.

● Fosters a culture of innovation in a business: Because the design sprint is adaptable, has feasible goals, and delivers infectious outcomes, it’s a great tool that inserts periodical innovation into a business. It also helps to identify forward-thinking team members ready to take on new challenges and leadership roles.

● Reduced risk, more speed, and momentum: design sprints save business months of designing, engineering, and development costs as the product, idea, or feature can go live in weeks because the focus will be on the right things.

● Focus: With a structured sprint to guide your team, their productivity level will increase, and they can easily accomplish three to six-month loads of work in weeks. A design sprint will help your team focus on the task at hand rather than navigating the day-to-day hassle of working on multiple projects on an average working day.

Steve Peltonen
Co-founder, Framian Oy

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