How to get started with your first design sprint
If you’re part of a team building a product, service or experience, and looking to get started with Design Sprints, this article is for you. When we first came across Design Sprints, we had lots of questions:
- Was this just industry mumbo jumbo?
- Who came up with it anyways? (and who’s using it successully?)
- Why is it called a Design Sprint? (Does it replace our agile workflow and if not, how/where does it fit in?)
- Could this work for a distributed team?
We’d like to share some of the resources that we found super helpful when we were just getting started.
Videos To Watch
Before we dive into the specifics, here’s a short, inspiring, high-level video of the intent behind and value of a Design Sprint. (This is the video you want to show to the people you need to get buy-in from).
Ok, so let’s dive in! This next video from Google I/O 2014 (45:54) provides a detailed dissection of the Design Sprint Process by walking you through various case studies. It also provides valuable insight and tips from different teams that are successfully applying the framework to build new products/services or improving upon existing ones.
Books to Read
This book is a great introduction and walkthrough of the various phases of a design sprint. Here’s a snippet — it’s awesome! They cover the history and evolution of Design Sprints and provide practical examples as well as recommended activities and approaches for each phase. They also do a great job covering many of the missteps that beginners are likely to make. You can grab it from Amazon, O’Reilly, or iBooks.
The GV team has honed their Sprint process over many years. In fact, they are the ones credited with pioneering the Design Sprint. They make it a requirement for working with their portfolio companies. The Sprint book is available in hardcover, ebook or audiobook.
Udacity offers a free, self-paced online course: Product Design-Validation and UX through Design Sprints. The course is loaded with great content-interviews, case-studies and best practices.
Last month, GV & InVision held Sprint Week — a week-long online workshop that covered all the principles of Design Sprints with real-time Q&A sessions and live video streams. (Hopefully they’ll have more). In the mean time, check out the notes from the workshop.
Around the Web
- How to conduct A Design Sprint
- Running a Google Design Sprint from Start To End
- Google Developers Website — Design Sprints
- When NOT to Design Sprint
- Why design agencies should embrace sprints
- Check out the #designsprint hashtag on Twitter
- This repo of documents intended to help guide a design sprint by thoughtbot is great starting point. Fork it and customize it to your needs.
Where to go from here
Like any good framework, Design Sprints work best when you customize them for your team and their needs. Go ahead and plan and run a Design Sprint with your team. Let us know any questions you run into and the hacks you come up with.