In-person design sprints
In-person design sprints are delivered across five or four day sessions. A five day sprint is recommended for first-time sprint teams with fewer prototyping or skills. Five-day sprints generally run six hours per day, allowing participants time to remain connected with the organization. While five days is a significant investment for any organization and key stakeholders, it’s been repeatedly demonstrated that the length and focus of five day sprints lead to the most transformative results.
Four-day sprints are recommended for teams who have some prototyping or development experience. They are generally more intense, require a full commitment from all participants and can run for 7-10 hours per day. For successful four-day design sprints a pre-planning sprint with key stakeholders is recommended to ensure that the team can hit the ground running.
Remote design sprints
When critical team members are dispersed across time zones remote sprints can provide a highly effective alternative to in-person design sprints. Using collaborative whiteboard software and video conferencing tools remote sprints follow the same basic template as in-person sprints. Exercises and activities are tailored for deep individual work with frequent collaborative breaks to keep all participants engaged. A recent set of remote design sprints for a global telecommunications company included participants from multiple business units across 12 hours of time zones and yielded significant results. Due to their fast-paced nature it is recommended that remote design sprints are preceded by a planning sprint.
If you are unsure of what challenge sprint should focus on, who your audience really is, which members should join or even if you need a design sprint its worth considering a planning sprint. Planning sprints help to quickly narrow down key questions and issues before you commit your team or discover that the questions you are asking may not be the right ones. Planning sprints are one-day sprints that generally last no more than six hours and should include at least two key stakeholders as part of the team.
Startups, new internal organizations, new product groups and existing organizations often find that their brand and meaning can be outstripped by events, technology or simply even time. A branding sprint is a two-day sprint that helps organizations explore and iterate new brand propositions and directions before the costly and time-consuming work of naming, identity and logos. Branding sprints can help newly merged teams and organizations explore new ways to define and communicate their value. Branding sprints take place over two days, four hours per day and require a team of four to eight members including key stakeholders.
Design sprints success can be greatly influenced by the level of up front and post sprint customer research. If your organization does not have internal research capabilities or relevant up-to-date customer data, we can recommend experienced customer researchers who can support the specific research requirements of design sprints.
Design and prototyping services
Prototypes are essential tools of any design sprint. Prototypes can range from mock ups of apps or Web pages to sell sheets or slide decks. Should your team not have available expertise in prototyping we can recommend UX designers, developers or visual designers as needed.