Methods > Ideate > Product Design Sprint

Product Design Sprint

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  • A product design sprint is a series of interactive exercises that rapidly moves a team with an identified challenge (product, service, feature) from initial design idea through prototyping and user testing.


  • Stronger problem-solving muscles and to get “unstuck” and/or accelerate projects
  • User-centered solutions that are technically feasible and business viable


7 - 14 days


2 facilitators and 8 -12 participants


Tip: it’s best to get an expert on board to help you run these methods.


One consistent bright, large, and energized space with whiteboards, wall space to hang things, and workspaces for participants Materials include whiteboards and markers, sharpies, post its, large sticky notes, colored paper, scissors, colored pens Depending on the length and depth of the sprint, tools like Keynote or Balsamiq may be used to create an interactive prototype

Detailed steps

1. Prepare
Prep time is around 1 week for a 5 day sprint. Make sure all participants can attend for 100% of the time. Share any market and user research ahead of time. Introduce participants to each other and briefly describe any project history.

2. Understand
Dig into the user problem through research, competitive review, and team knowledge sharing. To get the most out of this allow for people with multidisciplinary backgrounds to give a brief overview of the opportunity area from their perspectives. Work on collectively analyzing the research, playing with competitors products, sharing anecdotes, discussing similar products/services that try to solve a similar problem.

3. Diverge/Sketch
Rapidly develop as many solutions as possible – first individually,then collectively through a series of structured ideation exercises.

4. Converge/Decide
Choose the best ideas or clusters of ideas by discussing, combining, critiquing, and voting. Further elaborate and evolve by creating the user story through storyboarding and other exercises.

5. Prototype
Build something quick and dirty that can be shown to users. Depending on the length of sprint, this may take the form of a simple model or an interactive prototype. When interactive, the prototypes are meant to engage test users in key interactions, not prove any engineering feats.

6. Validate
Show the prototype to real users to learn what works and what doesn’t. Listen closely, this is a learning moment