The Design Sprint

  1. A quick intro to managing software projects
  2. Issue management and estimation
  3. The Design Sprint
  4. The Build Sprint
  5. Product Management and the Product Owner role

Agile software development

… is an iterative process rooted in user feedback.

To reduce waste, Product Teams create feedback loops early on and challenge assumptions.

The user is in focus from start to finish.

The design of any product must respond to the needs of the user.

The Design Sprint is the stage when a Product Team defines the MVP before the Build Sprint starts.

The Design Sprint as most people understand it comes from the Google Ventures Design Sprint.

The Google Ventures team defines it as a 5-day process made up of 5 phases:

  • Understand
  • Diverge
  • Converge
  • Prototype
  • Test

We are not going to follow the Google Ventures sprint precisely. Here is an overview of the reviewed process:

  1. Discover
  2. Analyse
  3. Define
  4. Prototype
  5. Test

1. Discover

  • What problem are you trying to solve?
  • Whose needs are you trying to address?
  • What is your understanding of their needs?
  • Are your assumptions about their needs correct?
  • How will you measure your success?

Primary activities

  • Qualitative user research

  • User Interviews

  • Quantitative user research

  • Collecting survey responses

Primary outputs

  • Problem statement
  • User personas
  • Research data

2. Analyse

  • What have we identified from conducting research?

  • What does the user journey look like?

  • How might we meet the user need?

  • What are the main technical challenges of the build?

  • What are the consequences of this product?

Primary activities

  • Research Synthesis
  • Mapping the Journey
  • Consequence Scanning

Primary outputs

  • A clear User Journey

3. Define

  • What can give us inspiration for our product?
  • What might our solution look like?

Primary activities

  • Idea generation
  • Sketching
  • Decision making

Primary outputs

  • Low-fidelity prototypes

4. Prototype

  • What might the solution look like?

Primary activities

  • High-fidelity prototyping

Primary output

  • A high-fidelity prototype

5. Test

What do users think of the prototype?

Primary activity

  • Qualitative user testing

Primary output

  • A validated prototype


  1. Discover
  2. Analyse
  3. Define
  4. Prototype
  5. Test

In any project, the Define, Prototype and Test phases may need to be repeated several times over until you have a prototype users are happy with.

In this case, we are constrained by the course timetable so we won’t have time to redefine

Further reading