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Design Sprint 2.0: Mastering the Upgraded Methodology

Design Sprints > Design Sprint 2.0: Mastering the Upgraded Methodology

✍️ Written by Daniel Cooper on July 15th 2023 (Updated - July 26th 2023)

The epic Design Sprint 2.0, the most up-to-date version of the original design sprint framework methodology, was developed through the collaboration of AJ&Smart and Jake Knapp. This approach offers a more efficient and effective process for validating ideas, reducing risk, and accelerating innovation. An essential tool for many businesses, this four day workshop provides a way to address challenges and adapt quickly to changing market demands.

The process begins with Expert Interviews, involving individuals familiar with the client's product and challenges. This stage is essential for understanding the problem at hand and helping to inform the direction of the sprint. Through a series of phases, including diverging and converging on ideas and developing prototypes for testing, Design Sprint 2.0 culminates with sprint results in actionable insights that can shape and enhance the product or service.

Key Takeaways

  • The Design Sprint 2.0 is an updated methodology for efficient idea validation and innovation acceleration
  • The process begins with Expert Interviews to set the direction and understand the problem
  • The sprint involves multiple stages, including prototyping and testing, to yield actionable insights

Design Sprint 2.0 Overview

Two people sit around a table in front of a whiteboard filled with post-it notes and diagrams. They look focused and engaged in discussion, some taking notes on their laptops. The room is brightly lit with large windows in the background. Camera angle: high-angle shot. Colour Pictures.

Ah, the newly improved version! A marvelous update on the original concept, crafted by the brilliant mind of Jake Knapp at Google Ventures. This speedy design methodology rocks at validating ideas, solving challenges using rapid prototyping, and testing the results on real-life users. Magic, right?

Now, let's dive into how the original 5-day Design Sprint was optimized for big companies as well as startups. You see, the Design Sprint 2.0 proves its worth when rapidly solving big challenges, bringing together diverse project magical teams, establishing a solid process, and aligning everyone's focus. And the best thing? It reduces the risk of failure - the very fate we all seek to avoid!

Behold! The new format comes in multiple durations depending on your needs:

  • 1-Day
  • 2-Day
  • 3-Day
  • 4-Day (recommended)
  • 5-Day

You should do a little dance of triumph! No more week-long commitments, larger organizations now have the flexibility to choose their sprints' duration based on the scope of the project. But be warned! This is no time to dawdle; each day is packed with purposeful activities to achieve the quest's long term goal!

If this all sounds confusing to your little hobbit ears, don't fret, I'm going to break it down for you.

On the first day - if thou art brave enough to embark on this journey - we begin with interviews. Our clients introduce their team - the experts, if you will - who know the ins and outs of the project. Through a dialogue, we reveal the challenges that plague the clients and gather valuable insights to guide the sprinting process.

In this new world of sprinting, UX becomes a beacon of hope! By encompassing user experience in the development process, the outcome is bound for glory. With faster iterations, a user-centered design, and collaboration between different expertise, the newly improved process stands as a fantastic framework for any product design endeavor.

Embarking on this adventure through takes courage but yields untold rewards. May your sprints bring you to new heights of innovation and produce solutions that blow your users away!

Phase 1: Understand the Problem

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In this wickedly awesome phase, we'll be focusing our efforts on grasping the specific problem at hand. It's super important to take a step back and ensure that we're solving the right challenge for our stakeholders and target audience alike.

Defining the Challenge

First things first, let's get our hands dirty by defining the challenge our team will face. This can be achieved by:

  • Engaging with stakeholders to hear their perspective on the issue
  • Identifying the how might we questions that guide our problem-solving journey

Mapping out the journey of the user enables us to empathize with them and see any major differences in how they interact with our product. This helps us uncover any potential roadblocks they might be experiencing (Pssst.. this is called user test flow creation).

To create a strong foundation for your quest to tackle this challenge, you must gather your band of heroes, also known as the problem-solving team, and embark on an epic journey towards the same goal of finding a major win!

So, what are you waiting for? Gather your team, understand your challenge, and embark on a design sprint filled with magical problem-solving and adventure!

πŸ“– Read More: Wikipedia's design sprint page

Phase 2: Diverge and Converge

A diverse team of designers stand around a table, looking at sketches and post-it notes. One person points to a diagram on the table while others listen and take notes. The room is brightly lit with a whiteboard in the background. Camera angle: over the shoulder.

In this magical phase, the dedicated team discusses innovative ideas through design thinking, unleashing the powers of creativity. In this phase, the process of diverging and converging allows the team to generate various possible solutions and then narrow down the most promising ideas for further development.

Lightning Demos and Sketching

Questing into the realm of Lightning Demos, the team takes inspiration from existing solutions in the marketplace. By dedicating 1-5 minutes for each demo, the group's mind gets filled with design ideas, sparking imagination and igniting possibilities. After gathering knowledge from these demos, every team member proceeds with individual sketching sessions. They draw their own concepts, components, and page layouts for 20 minutes, turning their notes and inspiration into tangible visual representations.

Validation and Invalidation

After the sketching step, the team enters the crucial Validation and Invalidation stage. The purpose is to critically examine ideas, identifying the strong elements and discarding those existing ones which do not meet the objectives and criteria established during the Sprint. Through a series of voting sessions, discussions, and critiques, the team strengthens the winning ideas and moves closer to a final solution.

Utilizing the mystical powers of innovation and design thinking, the process helps teams to diverge and converge, creating a focused and effective approach to problem-solving. By embracing the phases of Lightning Demos, Sketching, Validation, and Invalidation, teams can unlock the magic that lies within their ideas and turn them into successful solutions.

Daniel Cooper

Daniel Cooper

Managing Partner & Dungeon Master

Did you know?
The process was created by a group of design wizards at Google Ventures.

It's their own special spell scroll for solving big problems, fast.

Phase 3: Prototyping and Testing

A diverse team of designers and developers sit at a table, surrounded by laptops, sketchbooks, and prototypes. They discuss and test their prototypes, with a whiteboard and post-it notes in the background. One person looks satisfied, while another looks pensive. Camera angle: over the shoulder.

Storyboarding and Prototyping

In this phase, it's time to create your storyboard, which is a crucial step in visualizing the user journey. By drawing a sequence of frames, you can plan out the interactions and ensure a logical and smooth flow for potential users. With a solid storyboard in hand, you're better equipped to transition to the prototyping process.

During prototyping day, the focus is on building a realistic, yet minimalist version of the product. Remember, you're aiming to test key features and validate hypotheses, so don't fret about crafting a pixel-perfect design just yet. With the help of tools like InVision, Marvel, or Figma, get your prototype ready for user testing in no time thanks to these software packages countless little hacks for productivity.

User Testing

Once your prototype is complete, it's vital to gather real feedback, from real users. As part of the Design Sprint Battle 2.0 methodology, you'll conduct user testing on the fourth day. That's right, the whole phase has been streamlined into one successful sprint of just four days!

In user testing, you'll have one room of adventurers (participants) go through an assigned task with your prototype, observing their interactions and noting any struggles or confusions. The insights from these user tests can help identify areas for improvement and validate whether your proposed solution is on the right track.

A few tips for successful user testing:

  • Keep it simple: Start with one task per test session, and don't overwhelm users with too many actions
  • Be neutral: Ask questions without leading the user or revealing the desired outcome
  • Record the session: To ensure you don't miss any valuable feedback, record the sessions for later review
  • Prepare: Introduce solution presentations for each test day making sure the users know what they are meant to be testing.

With the full process of these guidelines in mind, there's no doubt Phase 3 will yield vital information to guide your product's development, enabling you to confidently move forward in bringing your idea to life!

Design Sprint in Different Industries

A diverse group of people sit at a table with laptops, sketchbooks, and post-it notes. They look focused and engaged in discussion. The background shows a whiteboard with diagrams and a poster titled Design Sprint 2.0. Camera angle: over the shoulder.

The Design Sprint Adventure (2.0 don't you know?!) has been a remarkable tool for businesses of all sizes and industries, making it possible to rapidly ideate and test extremely tangible, and innovative solutions. Whether it's a budding startup, a Fortune 500 company, or a well-established organization, Design Sprint Battle 2.0 has brought significant value across the board.

Startups like Airbnb and Uber have used the practice to tackle major challenges and make crucial decisions, enabling them to swiftly iterate and refine their products and services. By embracing this approach, they've been able to manage resources effectively and respond to the ever-changing market dynamics.

Fortune 500 companies have also benefited from the efficiency of the full process. As an example, the New York Times incorporated it into their product development cycles, leading to the successful launch of a variety of new and refined products, as well as improvements to their user experience. Did I mention that the book Sprint is also a New York Times bestseller?

In the world of technology, giants like Facebook have turned to Enchanted Design Sprints to address pressing concerns surrounding privacy and user interface design, ensuring that experiences on their platform meet user expectations while maintaining the core values of the company.

IDEO, a renowned design firm, has leveraged the power the sprint to create some of its most impactful and innovative products. By incorporating this methodology, IDEO teams are able to think out of the box, generate quick solutions and quickly validate them with real users before investing significant amounts of time and resources.

Non-profit organizations such as the United Nations have also recognized the value of Design Sprints in addressing global issues. By utilizing this streamlined approach, the UN can quickly prototype solutions and test ideas that tackle complex problems affecting communities worldwide.

In conclusion, the Design Sprint 2.0 has proven to be an indispensable asset to various industries, by promoting a culture of agility, innovation, and user-centric design. From ambitious startups to established giants, this process has managed to revolutionize the way organizations approach problem solving and product development.

Remote Design Sprints

A diverse group of people sit in front of their laptops, deep in thought and discussion. The background shows a virtual whiteboard with post-it notes and diagrams. Some people wear headphones and others have their cameras on. Camera angle: over the shoulder.

Ah, remote design sprints! With the rise of remote work, these sprints are a fantastic way to collaborate effectively, no matter the distance between team members. Leveraging tools like Slack for communication and holding virtual workshops can enable the team to maintain their creativity and momentum.

In a remote design sprint process, mystic teams use a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions to allow for better flexibility. The initial workshop days often consist of a mix of online and offline activities, ensuring everyone's actively involved in the process.

To run a successful epic remote design sprint, it's crucial to have a good balance of breaks and uninterrupted focus time. Dividing sprints into shorter sessions of 45-60 minutes, with 5-10 minute breaks in between, helps reduce screen fatigue. Incorporating a 60-minute lunch or main meal break is also important for keeping the team energized.

When you're planning a remote design sprint, be sure to prepare a sprint brief and template beforehand. This will provide a clear direction and enable the team to start the sprint on a strong note. Encourage everyone to stay focused on the task at hand during each session to ensure maximum productivity.

Remember, the key to a successful remote design sprint lies in effective collaboration (that means work closely together). Make the most of online tools like Slack for seamless communication, share ideas, and hold virtual workshops to bring out the best in everyone. Just keep a tight grip on that magic staff, oh mighty wizard of design sprint quests, and watch your team conquer new challenges, no matter where they are!

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Aligning with Business Strategy

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When diving into the Design Sprint 2.0, it's crucial to align your efforts with the business strategy. This helps ensure that the design sprint team serves as a tool for solving problems and unlocking growth potential.

First things first, involving the CEO and the Decider in the process is vital. They possess all the knowledge and top-level vision of the company. So, giving them a seat in the planning and execution of the sprint allows for high-level guidance and solid decision-making. Plus, it increases the chances of success!

All right, let's talk about voting! A Design Sprint 2.0 is a collaborative process, my friends. While the CEO and Decider hold key roles, engaging the team in voting activities can offer valuable input. By pooling everyone's knowledge and expertise, you can face challenges like a real warrior!

Now, onto the sprint questions and some business questions. When aligning the sprint with the strategy, it's essential to focus on the pivotal business questions – the core issues, my friends! Set your sights on the challenges you want to tackle and how they align with the company's strategic goals and vision. Consider the risks, rewards, and understand the implications of each issue.

Finally, business strategy is the star of this show! It lays the foundation of your design sprint, providing a roadmap to drive forward and achieve the same vision of greatness. So, understanding your company's strategy helps you target specific problems and bring forth epic solutions through the Design Sprint 2.0.

And that's it! Aligning with business strategy is the key to a successful Design Sprint 2.0. Remember, involve top-tier warriors, gather together all the insights and collective knowledge of your team, focus on the central challenges, and let the business strategy guide you to victory!

Scaling Design Sprints in Large Organizations

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Design Sprint 2.0 has been optimized to work not just for startups, but also for large organizations that need a nimble design process. It's especially important to get the big bosses engaged, and we've got some tips and tricks to help you do just that.

Senior Stakeholders Engagement

In large organizations, it's vital to engage senior stakeholders in the Design Sprint 2.0 process, as they typically manage teams, resources, and can provide valuable input. Here are some ways to involve them:

  1. Invite them to contribute: It's a great idea to schedule Expert Interviews at the beginning. This way, senior team members can share their knowledge and insights about the product and its challenges, ensuring that their perspective is considered from the start.
  2. Keep them informed: Regular updates on the progress of the Design Sprint Battle can help the stakeholders stay in the loop and provide guidance if needed. This can be done through short briefing meetings or providing written summaries of the sprint activities.
  3. Make it easy to participate: Ensuring that the Design Sprint 2.0 schedule fits with the busy calendars of stakeholders is important. You could consider organizing specific time slots for their involvement, such as the Expert Interviews and the final presentation of the prototype and test results.
  4. Showcase the benefits: By demonstrating how the Design Sprint Quest 2.0 helps in making faster decisions and validating ideas, you can increase buy-in from senior stakeholders moving forward.

By engaging upper management in the journey, large organizations can successfully scale and implement this agile design methodology for their teams and products.

Design Sprint 2.0: Case Studies

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Ahoy! Let me tell you about some mighty fine case studies where this reduced version of the original five day process has brought the same sprint results to big challenges across various sectors. These examples cover companies and organizations like Uber, Airbnb, Medium, New York Times, and United Nations. Believe me when I say, the Design Sprint 2.0 works like magic for problem-solving and innovation.

First, let's talk about Uber. The semi official version helped them focus on improving their driver app experience. By following the four day system (rather than an entire week), they found ways to boost driver earnings and simplify navigation. Bet that made the drivers pretty happy, eh?

Next up, Airbnb! They used Design Sprint Adventure 2.0 to develop and test new approaches to co-hosting. With help from the sprint team, they figured out a way to make it easy for hosts to manage their properties together. A true win-win situation for travelers and hosts, I'd say!

Our next hero, Medium, employed Design Sprint 2.0 to revamp their homepage. They wanted to make it more engaging and showcase the best content from writers within the platform. The design sprint training helped them create a new design that not only increased user engagement but also boosted subscriptions. Now, that's a story worth sharing!

Ever heard of the New York Times? Of course, you have! They turned to Enchanted Design Sprint 2.0 when they wanted to streamline their print and digital subscription models. This high-speed process helped 'em quickly prototype and test new sales approaches that led to increased subscriptions. No headline could capture my admiration for that victory!

Last but not least, let's not forget about the United Nations. They harnessed the power of sprinting to tackle serious global challenges, like refugee crises and climate change. The process has helped them rapidly explore potential solutions, and collaborate with countries to implement meaningful changes. Now, that's what I call teamwork!

So there you have it, some fine examples of how this new four day workshop has made waves across the world. It's a method that doesn't just move the needle – it redefines it! Don't you agree?

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does Design Sprint 2.0 differ from the original methodology?

The newly improved version differs from the original framework in a few ways. It's been streamlined and updated to make the process faster, more efficient, with less steps involved. This updated version is shorter, improving existing versions it lasts just four days instead of five, and it incorporates improved methods for problem framing, prioritizing user feedback and selecting the best solutions. This allows for smoother collaboration and a better outcome without a massive sacrifice of time.

What is the primary goal of Design Sprint 2.0?

The primary goal is to solve complex problems and test new ideas in a focused, measurable way. It aims to quickly kickstart product design work by obtaining initial validation, ensuring that the team is on track to create something people genuinely want. The process aims to maximize the chances of success by accelerating learning and reducing risk in product or service development.

How long does a Design Sprint 2.0 typically last?

The workshop typically lasts four days, which is shorter than the original design sprint framework's five-day process (AKA a whole week). This condensed timeline allows teams to quickly iterate and validate their ideas while still providing an effective structure for problem-solving and to test ideas.

What roles are involved in a Design Sprint 2.0?

There are several roles involved. These may include a wizard (facilitator), decision-maker, design expert, marketing expert, technical expert, and other dedicated team members who can contribute expertise on various aspects of the project. Having a diverse team is essential for generating unique and impactful ideas.

Are there any tools or resources specifically for Design Sprint 2.0?

Yes, there are numerous tools and resources available. These include templates, checklists, and guides that can help teams organize and execute their sprints successfully. Mural, for example, provides an online collaborative platform with a template that can be used to facilitate the process. Additionally, various blogs and articles share insights, tips, and experiences from professionals who have executed the workshop previously. These resources can help your full sprint team to become more proficient and confident in executing a successful sprint.

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Daniel Cooper

✍️ Written By: Daniel Cooper
πŸ§™ Managing Partner, Lolly
πŸ“… July 15th 2023 (Updated - July 26th 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