Design Thinking Process vs Design Sprints | My Thoughts on The Differences and Similarities

As I have been using Design Sprints alot more I’ve found such great tool to use in the process of building digital products. In this video, I share my thoughts on the whole process and how beneficial it is. I feel that where Design Thinking is more about how you think about the process, Design Sprints are a more tangible way for you to come up with a solution and quickly test your findings with real users.

Design Thinking

When we think about design thinking, the first word that comes to mind is human. For example, what’s the human need behind that business need? Design thinking encourages organizations to focus on the people they’re creating for and leads to human-centered products, services, and internal processes. The core of design thinking is knowing your questions and getting actionable. It’s about simple mindset shifts or finding different ways of asking questions—a new way to look at problems. A Design sprint works in a very similar way in that you are always thinking about the human you are designing for while aligning it with the business goals.

Design Sprints

A Design Sprint a four-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping, and testing ideas with customers. It’s a great way for companies to leverage the whole of their team’s brain power and within four days using a proven system come up with a real solution and user feedback.

There are generally five phases to a design sprint:

1. Understand
It’s about defining the true problem, articulating assumptions, identifying customers and getting all stakeholders aligned on the same goal and with the same information.

2. Concept
Is about exploring the multiple ways of solving the problem, regardless of feasibility. This freedom to explore and be creative with solutions can often yield unexplored concepts and ideas.

3. Decide
You won’t be able to test all the ideas the team comes up with, so you need a structured process for deciding which to pursue and which to abandon. Sometimes you will test only one version, while other times it makes sense to test two product variants against each other.

4. Prototype
This is an intense day of building a medium-fidelity prototype that is good enough to gather reliable data. Prototypes can feel remarkably “real”, and can be used in everything from a sign-up process, application layout, search engines result, to faking a complex algorithm.

5. Test
Bring in 5-6 users for 1-hour interviews each. You learn about their lives, their personal experience with your problem, and then watch them use your product. This part is the most stressful, but also the most insightful and fun. Everything the team has discussed for the past week is tested in the real world, with real users. The goal here is to validate/invalidate product ideas, uncover design flaws, understand your users and ultimately build a product people want to use.

Why are Design Sprints Important?

1. It reduces the risk associated with launching new ideas.
2. It helps organizations learn faster.
3. It generates solutions that are innovative, not just incremental.
4. It creates a prototype in a within four days.
5. You can gain feedback from real users within four days on the prototype.

However you use it, the design sprint brings clarity to your roadmap to kickstart and obtain initial validation for almost any new, product design or related work.

Download your free Design Sprint Process Overview document here

If you would like to know how a design sprint can help your business;
Click this link here.