What is Design Sprint and How to Run It?

Published On: July 9, 2020
Last Updated: March 14, 2023
What is Design Sprint and How to Run It?

Design Sprint is a terrific process followed by a wide number of startups, SMEs, and big enterprises across the globe. It improves the possibility of building something that people love in the industry.

The Design Sprint process involves a collaboration of experts. Different teams utilize the design sprint process for various reasons.

For example, some teams run a design sprint to efficiently handle big problems, while others view the design sprint as one of the most potent methods to complete any project.

Design Sprint was initially invented by John Knapp at Google and later tested on 150 startups at GV. After this, he shared the process with the entire globe in his book Design Sprint.

If you also have an idea and want to validate it as soon as possible, you need to know about design sprints and how it will work for you.

Here, in this blog, we will explain in detail how to run a Design sprint on any idea. Before that, let’s understand what actually is a design sprint, it’s effective uses, and what you will require to conduct the complete design sprint process.

What is a Design Sprint?

A Design Sprint is a unique five-day design process that is useful for validating ideas and resolving big challenges.

It allows you to identify answers to the core business questions via designing, prototyping, user research, and testing.

It’s initiated to repeat various decisions and test a lot of alternatives in a fixed interval of time prior to developing a Minimum Viable Product(MVP).

To know more about MVP, you can refer to this blog on Importance of MVP in building a successful product.

Design Sprint consists of 5-phases as given below:

  • Understand: Identify the problem and start focusing on one single thing.
  • Sketch: Put all the ideas on the paper.
  • Decide: Rank them from best to worst and then choose the best one.
  • Prototype: Create a highly-realistic prototype.
  • Validate: Collect feedback from real-life users and validate your idea.
Design Sprint consists of 5-phases as given below

We will talk in detail about all the phases of the design sprint process later. Here, we will look at some of the most important uses of Design Sprint to validate any new idea.

Effective uses of a Design Sprint

Design Sprint approach can be useful in different stages of product development. Here, we will look after each of them in detail.

While starting any project, you may consider Design Sprint to mention an update in the process or begin with the change of the product concept.

This works effectively while you are exploring new opportunities with the main purpose of getting into some authentic ideas that are required to be tested in real-life.

You can also utilize Design Sprint in the middle of any project to initiate a new cycle of updates, elaborating on a running idea, or finding new methods to utilize an existing product.

For a fully-functional project, Design Sprint can be useful to test one single component or feature of the product. This enables you to work upon one single element of the design.

In a nutshell, Design Sprint offers utmost transparency to your plan of action to move ahead and acquire validation for any kind of product-design related task.

As you have understood the effective uses of design sprint and how it can be useful for your project, not it’s imperative to know the requirements of the design sprint process.

What will you require to run a design sprint?

The Design Sprint process requires a team of experts; otherwise, it is not possible. This team includes members from different fields like product manager, facilitator, design expert, engineer, marketing expert, and decider.

What will you require to run a design sprint

Out of all the members, Design Sprint requires two most essential members without which results will not be sufficient. This involves:

Facilitator: It is a member that monitors and ensures that the team is doing work in the right direction. Moreover, it guides members to focus on one single thing to get proficient results.

The facilitator remains unbiased about their opinion in the entire design sprint process.

Decider: It is a member whose decision influences the sprint goal and the final product. Moreover, the decider makes the final decision on what is the best possible solution for a product.

Talking about the total number of members in terms of numbers, it should be six. Here, it is compulsory to have a minimum of four members in the design sprint process (out of which 1 will be the facilitator). You can combine a maximum of eight members in the design sprint process.

We have all the team of experts that you need for the design sprint. If you want to conduct a design sprint, you can contact us and we will get back to you soon.

The Design Sprint Process:

As mentioned earlier, Design Sprint is a five-phase process useful for validating any product idea. Each phase is highly essential in the design sprint process and you have to allocate one day for each phase.

The process is generally conducted from Monday to Friday. By doing this, you will be able to create an extremely reliable prototype of your idea. Let’s dive deep into each phase in detail.

Phase 1: Understand

List of different things that you have to carry out in this phase are as follows:

Begin with the end-goal in mind:
Establishing long-term goals for your product is very important. Think about where your product will be after 6 or 12 months and expect that your project reaches there.

Motivate all the team members to brainstorm on the same result. This will allow you to form clear expectations about the product.

Build a basic map of your product:
After defining your goal, it’s important to visualize your product’s overall user experience.

Make an outline of the project, which states how users will move from one step to another in your product. Also, ensure that It only contains max 5-10 steps.

Take opinions from experts:
Before developing anything, you shouldn’t forget to take opinions from professionals in a specific area.

Invite all these people in the room and make them clear what you want to develop. Show them the map you have made and requests for their views.

Use the “How might we” method:
When the team members are taking the expert views, request them to note all the things. Also, ensure that all the participants make notes similar to a question format with starting as “How might we”.

The Design Sprint Process

By following this method, you can organize, read, and analyze things efficiently.

Select the Target for Design Sprint:
The last step is to find an effective target for the Design Sprint. All the details that you have obtained from experts and using the How might we method will be useful to make a practical decision.

Phase 2: Sketch

Here, Monday is important to understand the issue in detail, while Tuesday is useful for focusing on relevant solutions.

In this phase of the Design Sprint process, all the members will take pen & paper and sketch attractive solutions.


Sketching is one of the most effective ways of giving your rough ideas a proper shape that anyone can analyze.

Several sketches that you will make become the foundation of prototype and test stages.

For sketching, you can divide your day into two parts: One for conducting lightning demos and the rest for the four-step sketch method.

Remix and Improve using Lightning Demos

Lightning demos enable you to check significant solutions that are posted by various companies.

Majority of times, various solutions have been already presented in the past and you have to identify effective solutions that align well with your end-goal.

Remix and Improve using Lightning Demos

Select one person from your team that will fetch all the ideas and mention all the things team members like from every solution on the dashboard.

Sketch in Four Steps

This method gives you the ability to sketch solutions practically, along with repeating each variation on the process.

Sketch in Four Steps
  • Notes: Initially, make notes of all the goals, opportunities, and inspirations that you are worked upon previously.
  • Ideas: Allocate the next twenty minutes of this phase in making rough drawings to build-up your thoughts.
  • Crazy 8s: Select the most-robust solution and sketch eight-different variations of it in just eight minutes; this is referred to as ‘Crazy 8s’ exercise.
  • Solution Sketch: Create a detailed sketch from start-to-finish within a span of 30 minutes or more.

Phase 3: Decide

On reaching this phase, you have completed the entire sketching process. Here, you have to sort out all the sketches and choose the best one from them.

By the end of this phase, the team will reach a conclusion about which design is suitable for mobile prototyping.

You can decide the best sketch solution by considering the following steps:

  • Art Museum: Collect all the sketches and stick them on the wall like a gallery. Generally, the sketches must be private, so the member must help in putting them up.
  • Heat Map: Every team member is offered three dot stickers, which they have to put on the sketches or portions of sketches that look wonderful in their eyes. This activity should be performed in silence.
  • Speed critique: Every member chooses a solution that is not actually made by them and instantly focuses on the solution, utilizing sticky notes to look upon the grand ideas./li>
  • Dot Voting: Every participant in the group can provide one vote to select the most suitable solution and explain their point.
  • Supervote: The decider chooses the solution based on the three votes.

Create a Storyboard

A Storyboard is known as a frame-by-frame plan for your prototype. All the participants should collect sketches and put them on a whiteboard.

Then you have to sketch five-to-seven frames (max up to 15 frames) to create a proper storyboard.

Create a Storyboard

Here, you need to ensure that the first frame conveys proper information about your product to the users. Also, you have to make a detailed storyboard prior to starting the prototyping phase.

Phase 4: Prototype

After making an effective storyboard, you have to allocate a full day to create a prototype. It is also said that the prototype is the final point of the overall work done by the team in building a solution.

Building a prototype in a way might seem to be impossible because, in general, it takes about a few weeks to create a prototype.

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But you should consider one essential thing in prototyping i.e.; you are not developing a final product but creating a prototype to take feedback from users.

In other words, the quality of the prototype must be attractive & looks real to the users; however, you should not invest weeks improvising it.

Put the minimum effort in the prototype in such a way that the user understands your idea effectively and offers feedback.

Phase 5: Validate

On Friday, which is the last day of the design sprint, you are going to test your prototype on the real users. Here, you have to present your prototype to the users and observe their reasons carefully.

While taking interviews, you must track possible patterns. By doing this, you will identify which sections of the prototype are working properly on all the users and which sections didn’t perform as expected.

A better strategy is to apply the Nielsen model, which states that you have to take interviews of only five users who fall under the potential audience.

The model states that testing products on the above five users reduce the value of return because you have found 85% issues by doing just five interviews.

After completing the validation phase, you should be convinced about the work you have done and if validation becomes successful, you should hire UI/UX designers to create a full-fledged design.


With the help of the Design Sprint process, you can move from the idea to the learning phase within five days. If you have succeeded and found that your idea is excellent, you can move ahead with your product development.

On the other side, if you have failed and found that your idea is not feasible without investing months of time.

The main purpose of running the design sprint process is to create a product that users love.

If you have an awesome idea and want to validate your idea, you can contact us.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.