Many of you must have heard of the term “ ” or even better, had the opportunity to be part of a Design process in order to kickstart ideation. Last week, I had an opportunity to be part of a Design workshop conducted at Srishti Institute of Art, Design & Technology curated by Pratiksha Dixit.

What is this Design Sprint?

A design sprint is a five-phase framework that helps answer critical business questions through rapid prototyping and user testing. Sprints let your team reach clearly defined goals and deliverables and gain key learnings, quickly. The process helps spark innovation, encourage user-centered thinking, align your team under a shared vision, and get you to product launch faster.

In order to simplify the definition, design sprint is structured, a brainstorming session, which enable individuals to understand user needs through design thinking methodology, keeping it a user centric process and understanding the user need and rapidly ideating and prototyping and testing it with your user.

The Task : If today’s reviews and ratings system is scrapped, what will the new system look like.

The Design Sprint framework involves the following –

1. Understand :- This stage is all about understanding and defining the problem. In order to get started, using the ‘How might we’ or ’HMW’ method helped each of us int he team to come onto one page. This enabled all of us to look in a certain direction and list the pain-points. After listing down the ‘HMV’ questions, we clustered similar questions together and created a affinity map and voted on what we wanted to carry forward and most beneficial for the user.

2. Ideate :- We were introduced to the ‘Crazy 8’ method and this is the coolest part of the sprint for me. What is crazy 8? It’s exactly as the name suggests, the step enables individuals to quickly sketch 8 distinct ideas, forget the feasibility aspect of it and just get innovative and sketch it out.

3.Decide :- This step enabled us to choose and decide which idea we wanted to pursue, we refine our ideas from the ideas generated during the crazy 8 round and select it by doing a ‘Heat Map Mapping’. ‘HMP’ allows participants to narrow down which idea qualifies to be carried forward.

The next two round involved Prototype & Test, which didn’t take place considering the time limit.

But, what is the advantage of a Design Sprint? How is it beneficial ? This is my take of why I found it .

The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.” — Linus Pauling

As designers, we always get stuck with the initial ideas and assume they are good, but we should be able to come up with A LOT of RADICAL ideas, and the design sprint allows you to quickly come up with multiple ideas, RAPIDLY.

“Drawing is an exercise for the restless imagination” — Tim Burton

Drawing is an essential part of the sprint. We keep thinking about a lot of things and often those thoughts loose their way in our mind, but by drawing it, it helps us gather our imagination and visualise it.

“Teamwork makes the dreamwork” — Anonymous

Trust me, you will learn the essence of working in a team once you have been part of the design sprint. You will realise how each participant is such a key element. Each one of us on the team added a different flavour which created a perfect harmony in the end.

“The ultimate inspiration is the deadline” — Nolan Bushnell

You might assume that time is your biggest enemy in the design sprint, but because of the deadline at each stage, that really motivated us to get creative and lead to really amazing ideas.

The workshop was a great exposure to understand what a design sprint is and how this framework is currently being practiced in the design industry.

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