Unlock Innovation in 7 Days

Gillian Foley
Gillian Foley
Abstract 3D Illustration of two people sprinting on a plain background

7 core benefits of a Design Sprint

Finding a way to address complex challenges isn’t a new problem. In fact, we’ve seen it time and again, not only with clients but also in agencies that we’ve all worked in. Scenarios like…

You’re at the start of a big project. There’s a long road ahead. You’re dealing with a lot of moving parts between brand, marketing and product to name a few. You think you have an idea of what good looks like, but it’s getting harder to articulate it to the numerous stakeholders across the business. You’re sinking in PowerPoint decks, Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, links to competitors' products or websites mixed with some big ideas. You need to get to a position where you have a semblance of an idea brought to life to get the project moving.

Does that sound in any way familiar to you? Or maybe you have a new product idea...

The business has briefly scoped it… enough for it to transform from an idea into the beginnings of a credible monetised product. You can see it, you know what the business wants to achieve but what next? How do you bring this idea to life? How do you define what it looks like, how it actually works, and importantly, how it will engage users? Maybe it needs a new visual identity too…

These are just two examples that we’ve experienced where we relish the chance to get involved. In fact, we love it so much that we created a dedicated service around it called a Design Sprint.

Design Sprints aren’t new. In fact, our version is an iteration of Google’s Design Sprint. Ours has a slightly different format, but is equally as beneficial. We take seven days in total; two days for immersion and five days to put virtual pen to virtual paper… usually in either Figma or Sanity, to sketch out something conceptual but tangible, something that brings an idea to life. Usually these focus on a ‘how might we’ statement… here are some we’ve solved in the past:

  • How might we… combine four brands and websites together into one and create a seamless user experience for multiple different audience types
  • How might we… make an in-person global flagship event come to life online to express the essence of the event as it unfolds in real life and create excitement (and ultimately, ticket sales)
  • How might we… make it possible for Pharmaceutical companies to evidence the claims they make about their medications
  • How might we… make managing tasks in the care sector simple for users who are most familiar with social media technology
  • How might we… visualise the roadmap for the reopening of a country estate with a heads up ambition

But seven days is only a short amount of time, right? Yes, it is… but as one of the UX laws on our wall states: Any task will inflate until all of the available time is spent (this one is Parkinson's Law). And we often work to Lean UX principles: learn, make, iterate. So what can we achieve in such a short amount of time and let’s face it, very cost-effective too? I think you’d be surprised...

1. Finding the gaps

When you think about either one of the scenarios I mentioned above, one of the first overwhelming thoughts is… what do we need to consider? Or even, what have we not considered? A Design Sprint is all about moving fast, breaking things and iterating. It allows you to find the gaps very easily and make sure they’re plugged (or at least given due thought) before fully investing.

2. Rapid problem-solving

Ever wished you could fast-track your way through the maze of brainstorming sessions and endless meetings? Well, this is where a Design Sprint comes to life! In just a week, we go from problem to solution faster than you can say "Eureka!" By condensing months of work into a focused sprint, we're able to cut through the noise and focus on what truly matters.

3. Cross-functional collaboration

Gone are the days of siloed teams toiling away in their respective corners. Design Sprints are all about teamwork. We bring together the dream team—designers, developers, marketers, and stakeholders—to blend their expertise and cook up something truly spectacular. It's like a creative brainstorming extravaganza, minus the headache-inducing chaos.

4. User-centric focus

At the heart of every Design Sprint beats the drum of user empathy. We're not just designing for the sake of it; we're designing with real people in mind. From day one, we immerse ourselves in the user's shoes, walking, talking, and breathing their pain points. It's this deep understanding that fuels our creativity and ensures our solutions hit the mark every time.

5. Clear decision-making

Indecision can be such a roadblock in any project but we aim to make tough calls easier. Our structured approach provides a roadmap for decision-making, guiding stakeholders through the process with clarity and confidence. No more endless debates or back-and-forth emails—just clear, actionable decisions that propel us forward.

6. Prototyping for validation

Who says you have to wait until the eleventh hour to see your ideas come to life? Definitely not us! In a Design Sprint, we're all about rapid prototyping—bringing concepts to life in record time and putting them in the hands of real users for feedback. It's like having a crystal ball to predict the future, minus the hocus pocus.

7. Accelerated time-to-market

In today's fast-paced digital landscape, time is of the essence. That's where Design Sprints swoop in to save the day, turbocharging your time-to-market and giving you a leg up on the competition. With lightning-fast iterations and nimble decision-making, you'll be launching innovative products and features before everyone’s had a chance to wade through the PowerPoints, Excels, links to a million background documents…

From rapid problem-solving to accelerated time-to-market, these Sprints are like rocket fuel for your digital ambitions. It gives you something tangible to share with your team, and potentially gets you past a blockage that was stopping you from moving forward. If you’re ready to supercharge your next project with a Design Sprint, drop us a line. We can share some more examples of what the output could look like and focus on how we can create something special.