Design Sprint Workshop

Stefan Schmitt

Design Sprint Workshop — solving problems in a targeted and user-centered manner

A Design Sprint Workshop is a 4-5 day process aimed at evaluating ideas to solve a problem through rapid prototyping and testing. It was developed independently through the work of various designers, including experts from GV (Google Ventures).



What it is not:

It’s not a long brainstorming session, nor an ultra-long meeting, nor a design meeting.

During the Design Sprint Workshop, participants are supposed to:

1. Understand the problem, define a specific goal.
2. Outline different approaches to a solution, if possible.
3. Make decisions to transform ideas into testable solutions.
4. Develop a testable prototype.
5. Get feedback from real users.

It is very important to conduct user research in advance. Understanding the real problems and wishes of the users is a prerequisite within this method.

The team of experts should come from all areas of the company. One person must take on the role of the decision maker (e.g. the managing director), another person must ensure that the methodology and timescale are adhered to.

What is the difference to the Google Sprint?

  • Since the UX specialists at Google helped develop the method, the internet giant also offers its own version. This version consists of very similar six steps, here too, research should come before design:


  • Understand
    Test prototype


  • By the way, Google’s UX professionals encourage users of the method to develop their own solutions instead of following the Google Design Sprint methodology word for word.


This is what is important for the implementation of a Sprint

It’s all about the users: The users are the linchpin of the method. User research provides all important insights; real users give feedback on the prototype at the end of the design sprint.

A multitude of perspectives: Important component of the design sprint – the sprint team of experts should be as diverse as possible: sales, design, development, marketing, customer service, finance…

Focus: For a successful Design Sprint Workshop, all participants should be completely dedicated to this project for one week. During the work, distractions are taboo. Paper and pencil or board and markers are used, not apps.

Efficiency: No bureaucracy, no undefined brainstorming, everyone must get involved and contribute to the solution.

Quick failure, quick success: Even if a week sounds like a lot, it is of course a greatly shortened process of design and research.

XDi-Design Sprint Workshop Clock

Is there an even faster method?

If you need to solve a really sharply defined problem, you can use the Design Sprint Studio method. This is a method from the Lean UX area that also relies on an interdisciplinary team, but this team is much smaller (4-5 people) and the time needed to find a solution is much shorter (three quarters of an hour to about 2 hours). The method itself comes from architecture/industrial design and comprises three steps: CREATE, PITCH, CRITIQUE. Here, too, individual variations are possible and desirable as long as the goal remains clearly defined.

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