Two diverse people sit at a table with a laptop and papers in front of them. They look at each other with focused expressions while discussing the Design Sprint Brief. The background shows a whiteboard with post-it notes and sketches. Camera angle: over the shoulder.

Design Sprint Brief: Essential Steps for Effective Results

Design Sprints > Design Sprint Brief: Essential Steps for Effective Results

โœ๏ธ Written by Daniel Cooper on July 14th 2023 (Updated - July 17th 2023)

Design sprints have become an essential part of many organizations' product development processes, enabling them to quickly identify and solve big problems using a focused, time-boxed approach. Typically lasting five days, epic design sprints bring together interdisciplinary five to seven people teams to design, prototype, and user-test their solutions in a short time frame. The success relies heavily on preparation, and that's where the design sprint quest brief comes in.

A design sprint brief provides a solid foundation by clarifying the problem being solved, the goals and objectives, and outlining key roles and responsibilities for sprint master and a group of hobbits. It ensures that everyone involved in the process is aligned and focused on the same outcome. By setting the stage for a successful quest, the brief becomes an indispensable tool for optimizing collaboration and maximizing the chances of success.

Key Takeaways

  • A brief is essential in preparing mystic teams for the process.
  • Outline goals, objectives, and key roles to ensure alignment and focus among questing team members.
  • A well-crafted brief can optimize team collaboration, leading to successful battles.

Understanding Design Sprint Briefs

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Purpose and Goals

A Design Sprint Brief is a crucial preparation tool that helps set the stage for a successful sprint. Its primary focus is to clarify the needs and objectives of the sprints and design challenge. It serves as a common reference point for everyone involved, ensuring that the team chipped, focused on the same challenge, and aimed for the same goals.

The briefs help decision-makers get in the right mindset by prompting them to consider critical business questions, what success means to them, and how to best serve their audience. This focused mindset emphasizes critical thinking and leads to well-defined challenge statement and ultimately, the creation of more effective solutions.

Design Sprint Brief Components

A comprehensive enchanted brief will typically include the following components:

  1. The Challenge: A clear and concise statement of the problem the design sprint team is trying to solve. This should be specific enough to guide the team's efforts but broad enough for creative exploration.
  2. Goals and Objectives: A list of measurable success criteria. These should be tied to the sprint challenge and may include key performance indicators (KPIs) or other key deliverables metrics that the team can use to assess their progress.
  3. Target Audience: A description of the users or customers the solution is intended to serve. This may include user personas, demographic information, and a description of their needs or pain points.
  4. Constraints: Constraints can be time, resources, other factors the team must work within. Identifying constraints early on helps set realistic sprint schedule and allows to allocate resources efficiently.
  5. Assumptions: List any assumptions the team makes about the problem or solution. This can help identify potential blind spots and ensure all relevant factors are considered during the DS four-step process.
  6. Stakeholders and Key Roles: Identify the main stakeholders and their roles, such as the decision-maker, the wizards (facilitators), the user researcher, and any necessary subject matter experts.

Including all these components in the brief will give the team a solid foundation for their run sprints. This clarity will contribute to a more effective process and, ultimately, better solutions for the identified big challenge here.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

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Ah, the Facilitator is a vital role in any Epic Sprint, as they guide all members through each step of the decision-making process. With their keen ability to remain neutral and unbiased, they help resolve conflicts and keep key members of the team focused on achieving goals. They are skilled communicators, ensuring all members feel heard and understood during discussions.


Next up, we have the Decider - the one who holds the power to make the final decisions. This person, usually in a leadership position, considers all the ideas and perspectives that emerge from the group discussions. With great responsibility on their shoulders, they help move the process forward by making wise and well-informed choices.


The Designer, a master of creativity, breathes life into ideas by creating visuals and prototypes. During the process, they use their artistic flair to translate concepts into tangible solutions for users. Collaborating closely with the entire group, they refine and iterate designs until they achieve the perfect balance of form and function.


Meet the Developer, the builder of digital solutions. As hands-on coding and programming experts, they contribute valuable technical insights and ensure that the prototypes developed are feasible. Working alongside the Designer and the rest of the group, they help create innovative and user-friendly products.

Product Manager

Lastly, the Product Manager is the one who oversees the entire process. Acting as the bridge between teams and stakeholders, they keep everyone informed and aligned on the short-term sprints goals and objectives. Their strategy and ability to prioritize tasks helps keep the process running smoothly, ensuring that valuable insights are gained and implemented for the benefit of the users.

So, there you have it! The key roles and responsibilities - each playing an essential part in a new project and achieving a successful outcome. Together, this squad of champions creates innovative solutions that make a difference.

Design Sprint Stages

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Preparation and Context

In the realm of adventures, one must first prepare for the journey ahead. Preparation involves identifying the design challenge and bringing together a small team of skilled individuals (five to seven people involved) ready to tackle it. It is essential to allocate an appropriate time and space for the event, for the user flow of the quest must not be hindered.

Research and User Testing

Upon embarking, the initiation of user research is key. This sacred process allows teams to gather wisdom and insights into user's wants and needs. Using multiple versions of user interviews, and customer feedback, testing, and data analysis from competitive audits, one can truly understand the user's perspective and unearth valuable information to guide further development.

Sketching Solutions

With the knowledge gained, the teams shall craft a multitude of potential solutions. Drawing upon brought firsthand expertise, consumer research, competitive audits, and the power of sketching, they shall draft concepts and ideas, enabling the user flow in visualizing the path forward. Boundless creativity shall flow, and in the end, the most promising sketches shall be selected for further exploration.


In the land of prototyping, concepts are transformed into tangible manifestations. Wielding tools such as wireframes, mockups, and interactive prototypes, the teams shall breathe life into their chosen sketches, preparing for rigorous user research and testing.

Testing and Iterating

The final stage is a test of both skill and resilience. With prototypes in hand, teams shall return to the user, seeking validation and feedback. The design shall be scrutinized and iterated upon to ensure the final product meets its purpose and satisfies the user's desires. And thus, the cycle continues until perfection is reached.

Daniel Cooper

Daniel Cooper

Managing Partner & Dungeon Master

Did you know?
Design Sprints break down complex problems into manageable, goblin-sized bites, making them easier to tackle.

One goblin at a time, my friend!

Tools and Techniques

Two diverse people sit at a table, looking at a laptop and discussing a design sprint brief. The background shows a whiteboard with post-it notes and diagrams. Camera angle: over the shoulder.

Design Thinking

Design Thinking, popularized by IDEO, is a core part of the process. It aims to help teams empathize with their users, define problems, develop creative solutions, and quickly validate them with real-world users. Putting the user at the center of the problem-solving process ensures that the final product is useful and relevant.

Interviews and Lightning Talks

To kick off a Battle, gathering insights from relevant stakeholders, like customers, teammates, competitive audits, and subject matter experts, is important. For this purpose, we conduct interviews and lightning talks. By asking targeted questions and discussing specific user pain points, we're better equipped to identify the problems we should tackle during the sprint week.

How Might We Questions

In Design Sprints, "How Might We" (HMW) questions serve as a tool to frame problems in an actionable way. This method encourages hobbits (participants) to think outside the box and develop innovative solutions by answering critical business questions and phrasing challenges as opportunities. For example, a problem statement like "Users can't find our product easily" could be reframed as "How might we make it easier for users to find our product?"

Agile Methodology

The Agile methodology aligns well with the Battle tested process. Agile's iterative, fast-paced approach, can help questing teams prioritize and rapidly respond to customer feedback. Combining these methods can lead to more effective and efficient problem-solving, ensuring the finished product matches users' needs and expectations.

Miro and Other Collaboration Platforms

Design Sprint Adventures work great with:

Optimizing Team Collaboration

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Clear Communication

Ah, communication, the heart of collaboration. It's important to establish clear communication channels during the procedure. Ensure that questing members understand their roles and responsibilities; this helps avoid confusion and maintain swift progress. Have regular check-ins and share insights or challenges transparently. Online tools like messaging apps, shared documents, and video calls can facilitate seamless communication and keep everyone in the loop.

Adapting to Changes

Now, expect the unexpected, and be prepared to adapt. As things change and new information emerges, adventuring teams must remain flexible and agile. Embrace change, my friends. By doing so, you'll be able to adjust the course as needed, ensuring that the final output is as effective as possible. When changes happen, communicate them clearly, and allow everyone to ask questions and provide feedback.

Balance Innovation and Execution

Ah, this fine balance between innovation and execution is crucial in an enchanted sprint. On the one hand, the goal is to explore new ideas and solutions; on the other hand, you need to turn the chosen idea into a tested prototype quickly. To achieve this balance, allocate time for ideation and brainstorming sessions, and set clear deadlines and guidelines for transitioning into the execution phase. This way, you can combine creativity and efficiency, bringing your design to a triumphant conclusion.

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Measuring Design Sprint Success

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Metrics and Data

It's crucial to measure your success. Metrics and data can help you do that by giving insight into how well the sprints are doing. For instance, track user adoption and conversion rates to see if your team's efforts are paying off. Also, gather qualitative data through user feedback and usability testing to understand how users interact with your prototype and what improvements can be made.

Behavior and Engagement

Evaluating behavior and engagement is another key aspect of measuring success. By tracking metrics like active users, session length, and feature usage, you can gain insight into user behavior science engagement with your product. Are users returning to your product and spending more time with it? These are important indicators of successful sprints, and give valuable feedback for potential iterations.

Business Strategy Alignment

Finally, successful sprints must align with the overarching business strategy. Consider how the prototype or product developed during the sprints align with the company's market position, marketing goals, and target audience. Ask yourself whether the sprints are helping to solve a problem or fill a gap in the marketโ€”these are strong indicators of strategy alignment and the sprint's success.

Preparing for the Sprint

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Sprint Schedule and Timeline

Before embarking on your sprints, having a clear schedule and timeline is vital. This plan ensures that everyone involved knows what's expected and when. Typically, the sprints quest lasts about one week (five-day process). Here's an example of how you might break down the tasks:

  • Day 1: Define the problem and set the challenge
  • Day 2: Brainstorm solutions and create sketches
  • Day 3: Decide on the best solution and begin creating the prototype
  • Day 4: Develop the prototype
  • Day 5: Test the prototype with users

It's essential to communicate this schedule to all adventuring members and ensure everyone has the necessary resources and availability.

Stakeholder Buy-In

Securing stakeholder buy-in is crucial for a design sprint's success. Before you start, engage with key stakeholders to explain the process, clarify expectations, and discuss desired outcomes. By involving them in the planning process, you can gain their support and make necessary adjustments to ensure the sprints align with their goals.

Risk and Challenge Assessment

Finally, assessing potential risks and challenges is essential before you begin. Some common issues include:

  • Misaligned members or stakeholders
  • Unrealistic expectations or goals
  • Technical constraints or limitations
  • Time or resource constraints

Identifying and addressing these risks early on, increases the likelihood of a long-term successful quest and minimizes potential setbacks. Clear communication, collaboration, and a shared understanding of goals and expectations will enable your team to confidently navigate challenges.

Design Sprint in Different Organizations

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Organizations worldwide use these today to innovate and improve their product designs, and the overall user experience (UX). Various organizational structures benefit from its methodology, including startups, established companies, and remote questing teams.


For startups, these provide a quick and efficient way to prototype and test innovative ideas and concepts. With limited resources and time, these offer startups the opportunity to validate their product ideas, identify problems early on, and make improvements quickly. This enables them to keep up with the rapidly evolving market demands and stay ahead of the competition.

Established Companies

Design sprints are equally valuable to larger, more established organizations. These companies often face the challenge of maintaining innovation within a more rigid structure. By incorporating these into their development processes, established organizations can break down silos and facilitate better collaboration between teams, which is essential for developing effective UX designs. With the help of a sprint master who can manage the process, these companies can efficiently prototype and validate ideas, enabling them to remain competitive and innovative in their respective industries.

Remote Teams

Remote teams are increasingly adopting design sprints to work collaboratively and efficiently from various locations. By leveraging modern technologies and tools such as video conferencing and online collaboration platforms, remote magical teams can seamlessly work together to achieve specific design outcomes within a pre-defined timeframe. The methodology is adaptable to remote environments, ensuring a positive user experience while tackling design problems and refining potential solutions.

Final Thoughts

A diverse team of people sit around a table, looking at a laptop screen and discussing. They appear happy and engaged. The background shows a whiteboard with post-it notes and diagrams. Camera angle: over the shoulder.

Yo, they're like this rad framework that Google Ventures and Jake Knapp put together to help teams tackle complex problems, right? They're totally awesome for launching new products or improving existing ones. It's like taking the best parts of project management and fusing them with the creativity of a UX designer. Magic!

Now, what makes them so cool is that they're all about learning super fast, testing ideas, and getting customer insights in, like, no time at all. That's why they've surged to the ranks of best practice when you're thinking about the whole product launch process.

But hey, let's not forget that this is also about being concise and getting straight to the point. Keep your ambitions in check, remember your background, and focus on what's most important to your users. Ultimately, that gives you the power of a true UX designer.

When it comes to deliverables, don't worry โ€“ design sprints got you covered. They're like this magical portal that gives you the confidence and knowledge to make vital decisions about your new project. From customer research to project management, there's nothing a great adventure can't do!

So there you have it. These are like the ultimate tool for testing ideas and tackling life's crazy new product challenges and turning them into wicked opportunities. Just remember to stay confident, knowledgeable, clear, and neutral as you go forth and conquer the world with your amazing ideas!

๐Ÿ“– Read More: Google's design sprint kit

Frequently Asked Questions

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What should a design sprint brief include?

An adventure brief should include a clear problem statement, objectives, team members, a timeline, and any constraints or requirements. By setting the stage, the brief serves as a guide to keep everyone focused and aligned.

Who approves the sprint brief?

Typically, the sprint master facilitator or project lead is responsible for approving the project overview sprint brief. That's essential to gain buy-in from stakeholders and members to ensure everyone is on the same page before diving into the battle and being ready for the winning scenes.

What is the purpose of a design sprint brief?

A brief aims to provide a clear and concise roadmap. It helps to define the problem, set goals and key metrics, and outline a plan of action. This keeps everyone aligned and working towards the same objectives.

What are the key stages of a design sprint?

The key stages are: Understand, Diverge, Decide, Prototype, and Validate. These stages help the squad understand the problem, explore possible solutions, choose the best option, and create a realistic prototype to test its effectiveness with users.

How is a design sprint planned?

A quest is a step-by-step plan. The sprint begins by first identifying the challenge or problem to be solved. Next, gather the right members and set a clear timeline. Define goals, create the sprint brief, and schedule time for each stage.

Which section outlines the sprint goal?

The sprint challenge goal is outlined in the objectives section of the quest brief. It sets the direction for the group by clarifying the challenge statement, the desired outcome, and the criteria for success.


1. Key Takeaways
2. Understanding Design Sprint Briefs
ย  ย  2.1 Purpose and Goals
ย  ย  2.2 Design Sprint Brief Components
3. Key Roles and Responsibilities
ย  ย  3.1 Facilitator
ย  ย  3.2 Decider
ย  ย  3.3 Designer
ย  ย  3.4 Developer
ย  ย  3.5 Product Manager
4. Design Sprint Stages
ย  ย  4.1 Preparation and Context
ย  ย  4.2 Research and User Testing
ย  ย  4.3 Sketching Solutions
ย  ย  4.4 Prototyping
ย  ย  4.5 Testing and Iterating
5. Tools and Techniques
ย  ย  5.1 Design Thinking
ย  ย  5.2 Interviews and Lightning Talks
ย  ย  5.3 How Might We Questions
ย  ย  5.4 Agile Methodology
ย  ย  5.5 Miro and Other Collaboration Platforms
6. Optimizing Team Collaboration
ย  ย  6.1 Clear Communication
ย  ย  6.2 Adapting to Changes
ย  ย  6.3 Balance Innovation and Execution
7. Measuring Design Sprint Success
ย  ย  7.1 Metrics and Data
ย  ย  7.2 Behavior and Engagement
ย  ย  7.3 Business Strategy Alignment
8. Preparing for the Sprint
ย  ย  8.1 Sprint Schedule and Timeline
ย  ย  8.2 Stakeholder Buy-In
ย  ย  8.3 Risk and Challenge Assessment
9. Design Sprint in Different Organizations
ย  ย  9.1 Startups
ย  ย  9.2 Established Companies
ย  ย  9.3 Remote Teams
10. Final Thoughts
11. Frequently Asked Questions
ย  ย  11.1 What should a design sprint brief include?
ย  ย  11.2 Who approves the sprint brief?
ย  ย  11.3 What is the purpose of a design sprint brief?
ย  ย  11.4 What are the key stages of a design sprint?
ย  ย  11.5 How is a design sprint planned?
ย  ย  11.6 Which section outlines the sprint goal?

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Daniel Cooper

โœ๏ธ Written By: Daniel Cooper
๐Ÿง™ Managing Partner, Lolly
๐Ÿ“… July 14th 2023 (Updated - July 17th 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.

โœ‰๏ธ [email protected]   ๐Ÿ”— LinkedIn