The Design Sprint
The Design Sprint is a very actionable framework that allows product development teams to easily put
in practice design thinking and user-centered design methodologies. It is at the core of the UX
Challenge, the experimental scheme piloted within the 200SMEchallenge project.
Benefits of involving users and customers in the digital product development process (for both co-design
and testing purposes) has been pointed out by interaction design academics and design practitioners
since the late seventies. Similarly, investing in user-centric design early on the new project development
process proved to highly improve product usability and user experience (UX), with positive business
impact on both market value and NPD project costs.
More rencently, business scholars with a solid background in digital product development and digital
marketing (and often with direct experience in coaching digital startups) have proposed new business-
driven user-centric innovation frameworks. One of this is the Lean Startup method, which addresses the
startup boostrap process (somewhat comparable to a NPD process) as an effort to gather “validated
knowledge” by iterative tests of MVP (Minimum Viable Products) with end users and customers. More
recently, Google Ventures (now GV) provided a hands-on guide for product development teams to build
validated solutions to design problems in five steps (a process normally enduring 5 days): the Design
Sprint22. Although it is still in its infancy, the Design Sprint has proven to be a bullet-proof user-centric
innovation framework for digital companies by making use of design thinking techniques.
The Sprint has now been utilized by GV on more than 500 times amongst products and startups, and it is
now freely utilized by innovation intermediaries worldwide. The below figure represents the 5-step
Design Sprint process.
01 Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want
Osterwalder, Alexander, Yves Pigneur, Greg Bernarda, Alan Smith, and Trish Papadakos. 2014.
02 The Design Of Everyday Things. New York: Basic Books
Norman, Don. 1988.
03 Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
Knapp, Jake, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz. 2016.
04 Design Sprint: A Practical Guidebook for Building Great Digital Products. O’Reilly Media, Inc.
Banfield, Richard, Todd Lombardo, and Trace Wax. 2015.
05 The UX Book. Process and Guidelines for Ensuring a Quality User Experience. Edited by Elsevier. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers In.
Hartson, Rex, and Pardha Pyla. 2012.
06 Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to IMprove User Experience. O’Reilly.
Gothelf, Jeff, and Josh Seiden. 2013.
07 The Lean Startup. New York: Crown Business.
Ries, Eric. 2011.