1 Day Design Sprint: Accelerate Project Success with This Proven Method

Design Sprints > 1 Day Design Sprint: Accelerate Project Success with This Proven Method

✍️ Written by Daniel Cooper on June 4th 2023 (Updated - August 16th 2023)

A enchanted design sprint is an innovative and highly effective way for teams to quickly tackle design problems, create prototypes, and test solutions. Though the traditional design sprint process usually unfolds over the course of 5 days, inspired dungeon masters (facilitators) have adapted the framework to accommodate a shorter time frame. Enter the rapid 1-day design sprint, offering an immersive and result-oriented experience that enables designers to move swiftly through the stages of ideation and into prototyping and testing ideas without sacrificing quality.

As you begin to step-by-step plan your exploration of the 1-day design sprint, it's crucial to understand the key components of planning and preparation. This accelerated version of four-step process of a design sprint requires a well-thought-out agenda, versatile tools, and a team of dedicated professionals who have a clear understanding of critical business questions and the long-term goal they want to achieve. By leveraging this approach, organizations can harness the power of quick decision making and embracing stakeholder feedback, all while keeping the project timeline from spiraling out of control.

Key Takeaways

  • 1-day design sprints provide a fast, focused approach to solving design problems.
  • Proper planning, preparation, and selection of appropriate tools are essential for a successful 1-day sprint.
  • Adapting design sprints for remote mystic teams relies on clear communication, collaboration, and effective project management.

Overview of 1 Day Design Sprint


Embarking on a five-day design sprint adventure can be a mighty way to swiftly address challenges and explore solutions for a product or a problem. Hailing from the lineage of Google's design sprint battle and inspired by IDEO's innovation process, a 1 Day Design Sprint Battle is a condensed, concentrated version of the original 5-day battle tested process and idea.

Within the short time of a single day each sprint, your team bands together to vividly map out the quest, select the most promising solutions, craft a high fidelity prototype, and test it for feedback. With mere hours on the clock, your design team, alongside other adventuring team members, will need to unite to conquer the challenge at hand.

The 1 Day Design Sprint begins with a clear understanding of the challenge – outlining the objective, defining the problem statement, and taking note of any key questions, answering critical business questions, constraints, or limitations. Once the entire team is on the same enchanted scroll, you move swiftly to solution brainstorming. During this stage, remember that every idea is welcome, for even the smallest spell idea can create magic!

As your brainstorming session culminates, the team must rapidly choose the top solutions with the highest potential. This decision can be based on criteria like feasibility, impact, and alignment with the problem statement. Post selection, it's time to forge the prototypeβ€”a tangible representation of the chosen solution. The prototype should be clear and detailed enough to showcase the core features, but you need not craft a masterpiece. The aim of realistic prototype is to create something testable and useful to gather feedback.

Finally, as your prototype emerges from the collaborative fires of creation, gather user feedback through testing. This real-world input will help your customer research team evaluate the chosen solution, validate its potential or expose its weaknesses. Feedback gathered at this final stage is invaluable, for it will shape the next iteration of tested solution and even your entire product's journey.

In ending, a 1 Day Design Sprint is a powerful and effective way to test and validate ideas swiftly. Remember the wise words of Onward's Barley: "It's not the path you take; it's who you take it with." So gather your team, embark on this epic design sprint quest, and savor the collaborative experience it brings!

Benefits and Challenges


Design sprints are without a doubt a valuable tool for innovation, behavior science, and problem-solving. Take for example, the one-day design sprint, a powerful method for accelerating the product development and every day process for answering anything that any group has. Below, I present the benefits and challenges associated with this method, just like Barley would.

When it comes to speed, one-day design sprints live up to their name, propelling adventuring teams through problem-solving and testing stages fast and furious. With a faster process, teams can iterate on their product, making sure it delivers real value to the user. These sprints can also help product teams to uncover actionable answers to specific product-related questions, answering critical business questions, such as validating new features or improving the user experience.

Innovation is the name of the game in design sprints. By facilitating cross-functional collaboration, the one-day design sprint adventure drives creative and emphasizes critical thinking, ensuring that a wide range of views are explored and tested. This collaboration not only fosters groundbreaking ideas but also helps align the entire group with the same vision.

However, every blessing has its challenges, and one-day design sprints are no exception. With the constraint and focus of a single day, questing teams must be extra careful not to shortcut important stages of the design process, such as research, prototyping, and user testing. Rushing these steps could lead to erroneous conclusions about the finished product itself, and false confidence in its success.

Another big challenge here is the minimized opportunity for in-depth exploration of concepts and features. Condensing the two-day process for answering this into a single day could cause the squad to miss crucial details and risks associated with the product, ultimately impacting its value proposition.

In summary, one-day design sprints are a fast-track approach to product innovation but come with their fair share of complexities. The key to successful execution is striking the right balance between speed and thoroughnessβ€”while avoiding pitfalls in the whole process that any group does. And, as Barley would say, "Quests are all about the customer journey, and design sprints are no different!"

πŸ“– Read More: Spotify's guide to design sprints

Planning and Preparation


Assembling the Team

Oh, the most powerful group of individuals shall unite for the one-day design sprint, and play an essential part in product innovation! Form a diverse team of 5-7 members, including designers, product managers, mercenaries (developers), and other stakeholders. Look for a confident and knowledgeable dungeon master (facilitator) who would guide the group through the discovery phase of the process and keep the focus sharp.

Setting Goals

A crystal-clear goal sets the stage for a successful design sprint's long term goal! Draft a list of challenges, opportunities, and sprint questions you should tackle. Make sure to align the sprint book goals with business needs and customer desires. During the entire sprint, the team chipped in their focus on a single goal of utmost importance.


Preparation of the right space can make a magic difference in a one-day design sprint battle tested process. Choose a comfortable location, free from distractions, with ample room for looming views. Provide the necessary materials, such as whiteboards, markers, sticky notes, and any required technical tools. Snack arrangements could work wonders in keeping the energy high!


In a race against time, efficiency is key! Divide the day into sessions that cover all phases of design thinking: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. Set specific time blocks for each phase to maintain the pace and ensure progress. Encourage squad members to share their thoughts concisely and complete tasks within the given timeframe.

Bear these guidelines in mind, and embark on a one-day design sprint adventure that shall bring forth great product innovations!

Daniel Cooper

Daniel Cooper

Managing Partner & Dungeon Master

Did you know?
Design sprints are all about solving big problems and testing new ideas.

They brings your ideas to life, but in a much less emotionally complicated way.

1 Day Enchanted Design Sprint Process


Understanding the Problem

In the realm of a 1 Day Design Sprint, the first quest is to understand the problem at hand. Oh, by the beard of Zeus, this is the process that any team must gather 'round, like a group of mighty adventurers, to define the challenge they are about to face. With their wits and intuition, they take notes, sketch out maps, attempt to untangle the puzzle, and extract the key aspects of the problem. Aye, for this stage is critical in ensuring that the entire squad is aligned and ready for the quest ahead.

Sketching Solutions

With the problem firmly grasped within their minds, our heroes proceed to the sketching solutions phase. In this mystical stage, each member of the fellowship embarks on a solitary journey, armed only with their creativity and trusty pen and paper.

They sketch their conceptions, forging visual solutions to the challenges sprint questions that lie before them. Each member's insight is crucial, for they must each explore multiple paths and present their unique concepts upon their return. Despite such pressure - lo and behold - the ideas, they doth flow.

Prototyping and Testing

Now, hark! The time has come to bring the concepts to life - through the sacred art of prototyping and testing. With haste, our brave band selects the most promising visions and transforms them into simple prototypes.

By working together, using digital or physical means, these wizards of design spring their creations to life with the finest hammers of technology. And then, oh, then comes the true test of valor: exposing their creations to real users! The insights gathered during these tests will determine the fate of their works.

Deciding on the Best Solution

And so, our tale reaches its apex - the moment of truth: deciding on the best solution. With the aid of their users' precious feedback, the squad must now evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their prototypes, weighing the variables, measuring results, and assessing the risks.

With noble hearts and clear minds, our heroes must choose which design will ride gloriously into the sunset, serving their long-term goal and vanquishing the foes known as usability problems! This ultimate decision will ring through the ages, as a testament to their conquest of the mighty 1 Day Design Sprint.

Tools and Techniques


Lightning Talks

Lightning Talks are brief presentations during a design sprint aimed at sharing knowledge, brought firsthand expertise, skills, and valuable insights with the rest of the group. Drawing inspiration from Google Ventures' framework, these talks typically last about 5-10 minutes and could cover a wide range of topics relevant to the product or problem being tackled.

Sketching and Storyboarding

In a one-day design sprint battle, sketching and storyboarding play a vital role in visualizing views and concepts quickly and effectively. Sketching allows hobbits (participants) to express their thoughts, while storyboarding helps arrange the sketches into a coherent narrative. This combination encourages creative problem-solving and ensures that every team member has a clear shared understanding of the product's vision and flow.

Rapid Prototyping

Rapid prototyping is an essential technique in a one-day epic design sprint as it helps transform concepts into tangible prototypes. These prototypes enable the squad to identify potential issues and iterate on the design more swiftly. Using tools like Figma or Sketch, you can create interactive wireframes, mockups, or even high-fidelity prototypes, depending on the sprint's goal and available resources.

User Research and Testing

User research and testing ideas with customers are crucial components of a successful design sprint adventure. Quick research methods such as interviews, surveys, or existing data can help the squad gain a deeper understanding of the user needs, preferences, and pain points. Once a prototype is ready, testing it with real users provides valuable feedback on the proposed solution's effectiveness, allowing the team to validate, refine, and iterate as needed on the design.

By applying these tools and techniques in a one-day epic design sprint, your team will be well-equipped to tackle and decide on a wide range of design challenges, generate innovative solutions, own sprint in their favor and make the most of the limited time available on their first sprint!

Adapting Design Sprint for Remote Teams


When it comes to pulling off a successful 1-day design sprint with a remote team, a little adaptation goes a long way. Here's some advice for forging ahead on your remote design sprint journey.

Technology and Tools

Remote design sprint tools are your new best friends. To work harmoniously, your whole team needs the right technology at hand. A mix of collaboration tools, like Miro or Trello, and communication platforms, such as Zoom or Slack, can boost engagement and creativity across the board.

  • Collaboration tools: Go for digital whiteboards (Miro) and project management platforms (Trello) that make brainstorming, sketching, and task-tracking a breeze.
  • Communication platforms: Trust video conferencing (Zoom) and instant messaging (Slack) for smooth and transparent conversations.

Remember, using these tools effectively means ensuring everyone knows how to use them before diving into the design sprint battle.

Communication and Collaboration

Keep the fire of collaboration burning bright by setting clear communication expectations and fostering a feedback-friendly environment. Here's how:

  1. Mighty Meetings: Start the remote design sprint with a kickoff meeting and end it with a debrief to ensure everyone's packing the same map.
  2. Crystal Clear Instructions: Make sure everyone's on the same quest by providing instructions for each activity and sharing them ahead of time.
  3. Bold Breakouts: Encourage smaller groups in breakout rooms when generating concepts and problem-solving for more focused engagement.
  4. Powerful Prototyping: Keep up the energy by going straight from ideation to prototyping with collaboration tools that support real-time input from teammates.
  5. Feedback Feasts: Invite users to give valuable feedback on prototypes and encourage teammates to do the same.

With the right tools, communication, and a tinge of magic, your remote 1-day design sprint battle will truly sparkle.

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Lessons Learned and Improvement


Gather Feedback

In a one-day design sprint, gathering feedback is crucial for innovation. By collecting input from customers and teammates, we can better understand their needs and preferences. This valuable data can help us learn and grow, making it easier to refine our product or service. Remember to keep it short and sweet, as we only have one day to work with. Engage with potential users through interviews, surveys, or even observing their interactions with prototypes. Just make sure to take action on that feedback, mate!

Iterate on Solutions

Quick iteration is the name of the game in a one-day design sprint. Once you've collected feedback, it's time to iterate on your solution. Instead of spending too much time on a single big idea, test different approaches and adapt. By rapidly trying out new ideas and testing ideas with customers first, you'll give yourself a better chance to uncover something that truly works. Don't be afraid to change direction if you find something that could better address the problem at hand. Magic happens when you're open to new possibilities and willing to learn from mistakes.

Continuous Improvement

In the pursuit of awesomeness, continuous improvement is a must. A one-day design sprint isn't just about finding a solution by day's end - it's about harnessing the power of learning to keep evolving our product or service. Whether it's through refining our design, improving our user experience, or gathering more data to make informed decisions, we should always be looking for ways to progress. Remember, there's no finish line when it comes to innovation - just a never-ending journey of growth!

Throughout the rest of this daring one-day design sprint, focus on the lessons you learn, the feedback you receive, and the solutions you discover answering critical business questions and confusing results. By doing so, you'll keep on pushing the boundaries of what you can achieve, and who knows - maybe you'll find a bit of magic along the way.

Applications and Case Studies

Center view. Two mixed-ethnicity team members sit at a table with laptops and whiteboards in the background. One smiles, the other is focused.

Startups and New Products

In the realm of startups, a 1-day design sprint adventure offers a rapid-fire method to generate and test concepts for new products. It accelerates the launch of innovative solutions and reduces the risk of failure. A fine example would be the Yuh App, which employed a design sprint to create a Swiss neobank. Valuable insights were gathered, and the app was brought to life by focusing on customer needs.

Complex Problems and Services

Tackling complex problems is often a daunting task, but fret not, as a shorter sprints can tackle such challenges head-on. In the case of LEGO, they used design sprints to address a variety of issues, reaping massive benefits, with key metrics, such as implementing 150 sprints in just 12 months. As a business strategy, they say, one must "farth onwurd through these troubling times," and design sprint methodologies enable organizations to craft innovative solutions for complex problems and services.

Evolving Business Strategies

Enterprises constantly embark on new quests to adapt their business strategies to ever-changing markets. A perfect ally in the business strategy innovation on this journey is, yet again, the 1-day design thinking sprint quest. By harnessing the power of design thinking, companies can align their business strategy with objectives, explore new avenues of business strategy innovation, and evolve their strategies. Quizlet, for instance, made use of design sprints to discover which potential features resonated best with their customers, enabling them to develop a robust product that caters to user needs.

In conclusion, be it startups launching new products, addressing complex problems, or evolving business strategies, a one-day design sprint serves as a trusty ally in navigating the challenging and ever-changing landscape.



In conclusion, my fellow reader, a one-day design sprint offers a compact and practical way to explore concepts, create prototypes, and gather feedback swiftly. However, it may not provide the same level of depth as longer sprints, and thus may not suit all circumstances. Preparing beforehand and having a clear purpose empowers the adventurers to make the most of their time (Bold Chariot, 2021).

To ensure a successful one-day design sprint battle, it's essential to maintain focus and adhere to strict time management. This empowers teams to cultivate creative solutions rapidly and validate concepts. Remember, enthusiastic participants driven by curiosity and collaboration make the whole process that any team has to run sprints all the more effective (Crystal Canyons, 2005).

While the one-day design sprint can be a valuable tool for many teams, it's crucial to consider the scope of the project or problem at hand and decide on the most appropriate length of Sprint. By doing so, teams can reap the quintessence of their efforts and yield the fabled fruits emboldened by wisdom and a grand sense of accomplishment (Eloquent Quiver, 2019).

In the end, my dear reader, the magic lies in trial, error, and adaptation, much like the heroes of old who emboldened their journeys through similar endeavors. And so, with this newfound knowledge, may you embark and triumph on your own 1-day enchanted shorter sprints quest.

Good speed and fortune upon thee!

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the key stages in a 1-day design sprint battle?

A one-day design sprint typically covers four main stages: setting goals, brainstorming, prototyping, and testing ideas. In the first stage, the squad defines a clear problem and establishes objectives for the sprint. Next, various concepts are put forward during the brainstorming session. Then, the buy-in concept is turned into a mock-up or proof-of-concept during the prototyping and testing ideas stage. Lastly, the prototype is tested on a selected group of users to evaluate its effectiveness and gather feedback for future improvements.

How do you conduct a successful design sprint workshop?

To run a successful design sprint workshop, follow these essential steps:

  1. Assemble a diverse group of subject matter experts.
  2. Clearly define the goal and problem.
  3. Facilitate a structured brainstorming session where diverse views are encouraged.
  4. Use prioritization techniques to narrow down concepts.
  5. Create a rough prototype of the chosen idea.
  6. Test the prototype with users and collect feedback.
  7. Document the results and plan next steps, considering the obtained insights.

What are some examples of 1-day design sprint outcomes?

one-day sprint outcomes might include:

  1. A better understanding of a specific problem.
  2. Identified opportunities for improvement.
  3. Chosen concepts for further development or implementation.
  4. A prototype to validate proposed solutions.
  5. Valuable feedback from real users to iterate and improve the design.

How does the 1-day design sprint differ from Google's 5-day approach?

The one-day design sprint methodology is a condensed version of Google's week-long five-day sprint. It aims to achieve similar outputs in a shorter time frame, which may be suitable for projects with limited resources or tight deadlines. While the five-day process allows for deeper exploration and refinement, the 1-day sprint emphasizes speed, agility, and rapid prototyping to quickly produce tangible results.

What tools can be used for a 1-day design sprint quest?

Various tools can facilitate the different stages of a focused work one-day sprint. Examples include:

  1. Whiteboards, sticky notes, post it, or digital tools like Miro for taking notes, brainstorming, and ideation.
  2. Figma, Sketch, or Adobe XD for creating digital prototypes.
  3. Paper, pens, or crafting supplies for low-fidelity physical prototypes.
  4. Google Hangouts, Zoom, or in-person sessions for user testing and expert interviews.

What is the primary goal of a 1-day design sprint?

The primary goal of a one-day sprint is to quickly generate, prototype, and test potential solutions to a defined problem. By condensing the five-day sprint week or a five-day process into a single day, teams can validate concepts faster and iterate more efficiently, improving the overall quality of the final product or feature.

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Daniel Cooper

✍️ Written By: Daniel Cooper
πŸ§™ Managing Partner, Lolly
πŸ“… June 4th 2023 (Updated - August 16th 2023)

Daniel Cooper is the founder and managing partner at Lolly and focuses on creating incredible digital products for his clients. As an experienced product designer, sprint facilitator, and software/app developer he has created simple, no-nonsense, and informative videos and articles for Lolly and other established brands.

βœ‰οΈ [email protected]   πŸ”— LinkedIn