Design Sprint: Fast Track to Success


Ever worked on a project which didn`t have a clear end goal or even a roadmap? Or seen a product being built which then wasn’t accepted by the end users? Most of us will have come across such projects, and realise that situations like these are difficult to avoid entirely.

Understanding that these pitfalls can be avoided if action is taken in the earliest phases of a project, Google Ventures pioneered the Design Sprint, a 5-phase exercise which uses design thinking to reduce the risks inherent in successfully bringing products to market.


Design Sprint process


The Sprint brings together product owners, product users and the development team as a group with these goals:

  • Understand our business goals for the application
  • Understand our end users and their needs
  • Understand strong and weak points of any existing application
  • Take understanding and inspiration from our competitors
  • Sketch our ideas
  • Transform our ideas into a prototype
  • Test our prototype on a sample of end users, ideally real ones 
  • Evaluate feedback and agree next steps


We tested out this technique on one of our internal projects, the CN Group Jobs Portal, which needed a redesign. The trial was a great success – over the five days we were able to:

  • Select a goal and develop three important pessimistic scenarios we wanted to examine
  • Generate 300 stick notes full of ideas and important parts of the application to understand our product
  • Sketch seven different ideas for how our future product should look and operate
  • Combine the best ideas into one prototype we created over a single day

Test the prototype on five different end users, giving us immediate confirmation of which parts of the site to rework and the assurance that we were going in the right direction. See the entire Design Sprint at high speed in our video.


Design Sprint at CN Group


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