What is a Design Sprint?

09. March 2016 0
What is a Design Sprint?

What is a Design Sprint?

A Design Sprint is a structured but flexible five day product design framework that elevates the possibilities of product creation. Simple as that? Well, not exactly. Traditionally, when you have a product idea and have completed research and designs that means you are ready to start the development process. At InRhythm, we believe there is a need for a step in between. With our Design Sprint, you take a week to really dive into the experience of the product and create a fully testable prototype. This will allow you (and your users) to get an in-depth sense of the entire look and feel of the product. You will also be able to test the prototype out on real users and gain insight into the value of the product. All this before a single line of code has been written. Now, when it’s time to head into development stages, your engineers will have a better resource to build off of, creating a smoother work-flow throughout the entire process.

At InRhythm we are excited to be starting this new initiative: Design Sprint Studios in which we embed onsite with clients to assist them through their Design Sprint week. The idea of Design Sprint originated at Google and has been adapted and built out to conform to our needs. Here’s how we structure the week:

The Five Day Framework

Monday: Understand

Define and Unpack the Problem to Solve

Together we will develop a common understanding of the working context, including the problem, business, customer, value proposition, and how successes will be determined. By the end of this day, we will have identified some of our biggest risks and start to make plans for reducing them.


Tuesday: Sketch

Generate Ideas in Order to Solve the Problem

Together we will explore the range of possibilities and come up with possible solutions. This day is about individuals sketching out their ideas, sharing them with the group and then collectively voting on the ideas to move forward with.


Wednesday: Decide

Select the Ideas to Pursue for Testing

The team gathers all ideas exposed during the first two days of the Design Sprint, eliminating any of the wild or currently unfeasible ideas and begins to hone in on the ideas which everyone feels are strongest. These ideas will guide the prototype implementation which occurs on day four and will continue on to be tested with existing or potential customers.


Thursday: Prototype

Build a Prototype that can be User Tested

On this day, a prototype is built which is designed to reveal learning around specific unknowns and assumptions. Its medium should be determined by time constraints and discovery goals. Paper, Keynote, and clickable prototypes are some of the most popular prototyping methods. The prototype storyboard and work completed during the first three days of the sprint should make prototype building fairly straightforward.


Friday: Test

Validate the Hypothesis by Observing Prototype Use

Together, we test the prototype with any existing or potential customers. We recommend using existing or potential customers because they are ultimately who will be interacting with this product. The context of their experiences have influence on your product that is not present with non-customers.

At the end of this day, all feedback and learning are collected, leaving the team with a  valuable understanding of their product and its next steps.


We would love to get an initial conversation started with you on how our Design Sprint Studio can benefit your product.Reach out to us!

Written by Ricki Steiner

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