What is a sprint?
A design sprint is a five-phase process that helps businesses design, prototype and validate ideas to launch new products faster. Sprint teams use human-centered design principles and quickly test ideas with real customers to constantly improve their product.
Remote work is not a choice, it’s the reality of our organizations and how we work today. Remote sprints keep the creative momentum going. Many design sprint teams already work remotely, either in part or in whole.
Do a Design Sprint when:
- You want to innovate and launch a new product but need to validate its market fit
- You want to improve an existing product or a part of a product
- You want to jumpstart creative teamwork but your company or client is taking too long to make a decision
A validated concept that will help you develop your product further. This can be a prototype or an experiment that your team can continue to build, measure and learn about in a lean way (maximizing customer value while minimizing resources).
Planning your sprint:
✅ Get the support from your company
✅ Identify the business challenge
✅ Assemble a team of 3-7 people
✅ Choose a facilitator and roles
✅ Prepare the workspaces
✅ Make a schedule (5 days minimum)
✅ Find and confirm testers
Before you start... get your company's support!
- Explain it's an experiment that can have a significant impact in a short time
- Run a short workshop to demonstrate the outcomes of a sprint using a problem everyone can relate to. TIP! Use the Lightning Decision Jam Template from sprint experts AJ&Smart: https://mural.co/templates/ldj
- Show examples of how design sprints benefited other companies
1. Frame the problem:
- Find a big challenge and define why it's worth solving, both for the business and the user.
- Collect user research to understand who is affected by the problem and how it affects them.
- Do a future-gazing exercise. Ask yourselves: If nothing changes, what will the future look like? What could the future look like?
2. Assemble a team:
- Sprint teams thrive with diversity. Put together a group of 3-7 people with a mix of roles and skill sets.
- Make sure everyone can fully commit to the entire duration of the sprint.
- Decide on support roles and choose a facilitator to ensure everyone stays on track during the design sprint.
- Use the "Dashboard" template to agree on the purpose and desired outcomes, and share concerns and expectations.
Click on the image to view the template.
3. PREPARE THE REMOTE DESIGN SPRINT
- Share guidelines with the online tools and behaviors everyone is encouraged to adopt in the sprint. Remote design sprints require a different set up and mindset than regular in-person design sprints.
- Find users to test ideas with who are available for a remote or in-person interview during your sprint dates.
- Identify time zones and set a time for daily stand-up calls. Make sure you overlap at least 2-3 hours each day to do some exercises synchronously and the rest asynchronously.
Tip: Use a tool like WorldTimeBuddy to find the best overlap times.
- Make a schedule for 5+ days; Outline the times, exercises, and tools for each phase.
Tip: Remember to add regular breaks—people lose focus after 90 min.
- Create a new room for your design sprint in MURAL and prepare the murals needed for each phase. Create murals from the "Remote Design Sprint" templates below, add them to your room, and tweak them if necessary.
DESIGN SPRINT OVERVIEW
Get ready to kickoff your remote design sprint! Click on each phase to go directly to the template.
0. DASHBOARD: Plan and prepare before the sprint (1-2 days)
1. UNDERSTAND: Collect observations and map the challenge (0.5-1 day)
2. EXPLORE: Go deeper on the selected challenge (0.5-1 day)
3. REFINE: Review and update concepts (1-2 days)
4. PROTOTYPE & TEST: Collect and analyze customer feedback (1 day)
5. PLAN EXPERIMENTS: Map further tests and development (1 day)
How to combine the phases:
The 5 day sprint is the standard, however the sprint structure can be modified depending on your team shape, velocity, and needs.
Some teams run 3 day sprints while others spread out the activities over a 2 week period.
For more info, visit: https://mural.co/templates/design-sprint/