Design Sprints

UX Designer - 1 week sprints  x 4 months - Team Project


Skills & Techniques

  • Stakeholder Interviews

  • Research

  • User testing in lab conditions

  • Storyboarding

  • Sketching

  • Survey Design


  • Paper sketches

  • Sketching

  • Sketch


The Problem

Our client was having an internal shakeup and the new head of digital wanted to scrap away with a weight of old ideas and crippling legacy systems. The proposal was to try Google sprints within a two week capacity. The concept, as Google puts it is a:

 “ Five-day process for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping , and testing ideas with customers…. working together in a sprint you can shortcut the endless debate cycle and compress months of time into a single week” 


From Beyond 

  • 1 strategist

  • 1 VD

  • 1 UX (Myself)

  • 1 Developer

  • Sprint week schedule

From the Client 

  • 1 Head of data

  • 1 Researcher

  • Customer service representative

  • 1 Head of design

  • 1 UX


The Schedule


As a team (clients together with agency) we would receive a brief and review all provided evidence from the clients analytics and research. We would have long discussions on previous work that had been tried and tested and agree upon where the opportunity for improvement lay and our target audience. We would then compile a list of questions for an online survey to be published that evening to answer some of our hypothesis from the day.


With results coming in from the survey we would have a debate as to what hypothesis were verified and therefore what problem we were trying to solve. From here we conducted 5 minute design sprints whereby, you would create 6 different designs based on the one idea, you would then stand in front of the group and give reasoning behind each design. Every member of the group would then put a sticker as to which elements of the designs they liked and  tell us why. 

This was incredibly helpful when it came to creating the final sketches and wireframes for the design. It felt as though the entire team had equal involvement and problems from each discipline had already been addressed before any real designing took place. 


Working with the VD and developer I would create wireframes and oversee visual designs. 


Create a discussion guide for Fridays user testing and help with the progression of the VD’s and development into a front end working prototype. 


We conduct user testing with up to 6 different volunteers at a user testing facility. 


Following Week

Create a written document findings from the user testing and   wireframes to demonstrate how to improve.  

Over a 4 month period, we conducted several design sprints which ranged from redesigning a homepage, results page, a question set etc


What performed well

  • Getting to route of the problem area in a very short amount of time.

  • Getting all team members involved in every aspect of the process so the solution is a group effort in all senses. 

  • Understanding and empathising with different disciplines. 

  • Getting the idea to the user quickly before a problem is overworked

To improve

I learnt a huge amount on these sprints, my only concern was that as consultants I felt we should have insisted that we revisit a few ideas and had another sprint about the same subject or a topic directly related to a learning from a previous sprint . Sometimes the topics felt random and were decided by the clients extensive backlog.  I feel that had we looked at a roadmap of topics more closely we could have provided a higher value to our client. 

What I personally learned

  • I found the fun and satisfaction of running workshops! It's a great way to get all stakeholders involved in a project and was great to see the upper management of a multi million pound empire getting involved.

  • These days of design sprints shaped the way I think about design. The need to work with evidence in order to come up with a concept that works for both user and business. I don't believe in designers epiphanies, I believe in team collaboration and utilising a team's skills to come up with a solution based on a validated and understood problem by all involved. I believe as a UX designer I am a coordinator thats job it is to bring together our learnings in a customer facing way.

  • Since then I have used design sprints in one way or another with all my clients.

A reviews workshop I ran for Zalando

A reviews workshop I ran for Zalando

Further work examples