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Design Sprints — is it a sprint or a marathon? 🏃‍♀️💨 | Grab a Coffee ☕️ #16

Grab a Coffee ☕️
I am a passionate hobby runner. Every week I run between 20 and 40 kilometers. Sometimes on short 5-km routes, in between times 10 or 12 kilometers and a few weeks ago I even contested my first half marathon. (No it was not a competition, but a private run and the time was not overwhelming).
Some days I run very flat trails and others I decide to do more elevation or a trail run, which then really gets into the legs.
Each run has its own pros and cons and I’m glad for the variety. However, when I would like to do a long run but have little time, it usually goes wrong. Then I’m stressed while running, I start too fast, I’m quickly out of breath and all in all it goes rather crappy then.
Often it is the same for me (and certainly for many other people) at work. We have little time and want to accomplish way too much at once in these short time frames.
Developing new features is usually a good example of how the time factor is often underestimated.
  • Research? We know our users.
  • Brainstorming? We already know what we want.
  • Sketching, wireframes and iterations? Takes too much time.
If you hear this a lot too, maybe design sprints could be a solution for you and your team when starting to work on bigger features.

🏃‍♀️ What is a Design Sprint?
A Design Sprint is a set of methods used to get a new idea, a plan or a project on track together as a team within five days.
With the help of various methods such as lightning sessions, crazy 8s or prototyping, a motivated team can get from a rough idea to a finished prototype including testing and thus initial user feedback within five days. 
A Design Sprint is intensive and extremely productive.
It is necessary that all team members - preferably not more than seven - commit to pull together and push the project. 
💡 More about Design Sprints
👩‍💻 Reading (and much more)
The Sprint book is the source for knowledge about the design sprint. All steps, including a comprehensive preparation, are explained in detail and you are guided step by step through the individual phases of the sprint.
Motivating examples, but also experiences, what doesn’t work and why, give you a good insight and prepare you for your own sprint.
Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
🎧 Listening
If you’re more a fan of listening than reading I would recommend episode 131 of the UI Breakfast Podcast. During 39 minutes you can listen to the most important things to know about design sprints, what will happen in these 5 days and how you can conduct a design sprint.
UI Breakfast Podcast. Episode 131: Design Sprint with Jonathan Courtney
📺 Watching
The Relab youtube channel is a real treasure when it comes to UX knowledge. Of course, the design sprint is not left untouched. The videos are pretty interesting and explain a lot in a short time. 
Especially the video about the Crazy 8s is worth watching. In a good 6 minutes you get the perfect overview of how you can perform Crazy 8s with your team yourself.
Crazy 8s – Brainstorming & Sketching
🧐 Fazit
When I’m running, I often want too much all at once - especially when there’s not much time - and don’t commit to what would actually make sense, namely a short unit that I could do perfectly well in the time available.
Or I have to postpone other things that are not as important to me as the long run I would like to do now. So I have to set priorities and decide what is more important to me. Time is limited and not all things can be condensed as you like. 20 km (at least for me) can not be accommodated in an hour, but need their time. 😊
The same applies to a design sprint. The methods alone do not necessarily require an enormous amount of time - short sprints. But only when taken together and with the right planning do they really make sense and add value. And for that you need time.
The idea of shortening a design sprint to 2 days is tempting, because time is always money in business. But the result after 2 days will almost certainly never be as good as after 5 days. And from a business perspective, it is probably questionable whether you will have lost more opportunities than you have gained.
Therefore, in my opinion, it is important to:
  • Plan well in advance 
  • Give the team the necessary time
  • Work with time boxing where necessary
  • Do not skip methods to save time
  • Trust the process
  • Enjoy the design sprint
💜 Thanks for reading
Thank you so much for reading so far and I hope you learned something new about design sprints. Because that’s the goal I want to achieve: sharing with others to grow together. 🚀
I am curious what your experiences are with design sprints are and how you’re conducting them. Please let me know and share your experience with me. 😃
If you would like to support my work and with that help other people to find their way into UX/UI industry, you can support my mission by buying me a coffee here. ☕️
✨💫 Become a Supporter 💫✨
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See you next week with new topics and an amazingly good cup of coffee. ☕️
Marina 👋
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Marina @marina_kdot

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