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Five Phases of a Design Sprint

Have you ever been a part of a project that involves a new product? It’s no easy task! It may take weeks to come up with a schedule, brainstorm with the team, create specs, and finally get the green light to execute the idea itself. With the design sprint, the timeframe is substantially reduced to a week. The sprint is designed in a way to take you from ‘challenge’ to ‘solution’ in a few steps. We perform design sprints to ensure the inevitability of success. It is a process that most companies swear by regardless of how big or small they are.

The five-step process of a sprint covers everything from start to finish of product design. This includes prototyping and user testing to really understand how the product will work in reality. Here are the five stages of a design sprint, to let us have a better understanding of how the process works. 

Step 1: Inspire 

Day one is definitely the most important day of the entire sprint. The entire team sits together and brainstorms. Identify your goal for the sprint as well as how you want the product to run in the long term. Understand what problems your company is facing, the business environment you’re operating in, your customer persona, your value proposition, and how you’ll tell when you are successful.

Each team member can come up with a couple of ideas and goals and present it to the team. The best ideas are narrowed down and taken further through the sprint. The best thing about the design sprint is that the team starts empathizing with the customer journey and tries to form a perspective on how to make the user experience better. 

Step 2: Ideate 

Once the entire team is on the same page with regard to what the pain points are, we can move to solutions. The second step is all about creating solutions around the target problem. Each team member gets an opportunity to brainstorm and come up with possible solutions. Everyone gets the opportunity to present their ideas to the team while sketching out the important features. The solution is narrowed down by a vote. 

Day two is all about innovation and ideating on the basis of how customers will react to different features. Each idea can be sketched out. Use simple drawings and sketches for illustrations and basic value proposition canvases to keep your information visible and organized.

Step 3: Decide 

After all the ideas have been presented, the best concepts are chosen and eliminated through a vote. Once the unattainable ideas are crossed out; the entire team can focus on one idea.

The things the team is going to do in this stage include figuring out which ideas are solving the same problem, removing those solutions that you can’t pursue right now, and voting for the best ideas in a democratic manner.

Step 4: Prototype

The next step includes bringing the vision to life by building prototypes for it. Make a prototype for all your shortlisted ideas. For example, if you’ve ended up with three concepts, you need to work on three different mock-ups or prototypes to present. Screens and dashboards are a great way to convey relevant data in a way that is practical and visually appealing.

Using tools like Keynote and PowerPoint can help present the idea effectively on screen. You

can also make 3D models of the idea to get a better understanding of it. Forming multiple teams to work on multiple aspects of the project will help finish the work faster and more efficiently.

Step 5: Testing

After the team has built effective models for each idea, it is time to validate them. This is one of the most crucial phases as the team can witness users interacting with the idea and provide valuable feedback. While testing the prototype, you will get a clear sense on what works and what needs to be fixed. 

The five steps of a design sprint give you a sense of what your product should essentially look like. Using the inferences in the project, the team can go-ahead to build the actual product. If there are some aspects that need to be changed, the necessary changes can be made, and the prototype can be modified. 

The design sprint allows you to get a month’s worth of work done in just a few days. The entire process can help you save tons of time and resources. With the help of the design sprint, you can go on to work to get the final product.

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