In Product Development, a Sprint is used to dedicate a set period of time to complete a piece of work. Sprints allow teams to work through challenges specific to the work that is being done and to collaborate on finding the best solution to target those challenges.
A UX Sprint is a process for answering crucial questions about a Product or Service at any stage of the development process. UX Sprints typically last 5 days but can be increased to 10 or 15 days depending on the stage of the project or the complexity of the Product.
A team just starting out on a new project or a project in need of a fresh pair of eyes, may use a UX Sprint to help to:
Define or re-define the vision of a product.
Create a concept and then gather data from users to either validate earlier thinking or highlight a need to change approach before too much money and resource is spent.
If you are mid-way through a programme of work and have just realised that your product has had very little input from individuals outside of your core project team or company stakeholders, then a UX Sprint can be a great way to check that your concepts truly meet your intended user’s needs.
A UX Sprint helps to keep your perspectives fresh and your ideas reactive to ever changing external influencers which may cause a project to change course or evolve.
The Human Factors Centre has hosted a number of 1 and 2-day training courses on our Human Centred Design, UX and UI principles (How to host a 5 day UX Sprint). We have helped numerous clients to get their projects off the ground and to restore their projects when they felt uncertain on the direction a project was headed.
How does it work?
Over the course of 5 days, teams will use over 23 different Human Centred Design techniques to help them carry out each phase of the UX Sprint. The UX Sprint is split into 5 phases which can be carried out as 1 phase per day.
Phase 1 (Day 1): Insight
This phase is designed to structure and plan the rest of the UX Sprint. In this phase, the team will set a long-term goal for the product or project. They will then brainstorm all of the existing user needs related to the product that they are aware of. They will identify where the gaps in knowledge exist and plug those gaps by speaking to users or KOL’s the very same day.
By the end of phase 1 then will have a number of user needs which can start to be grouped. User profiles will then be established and a decision regarding who to test in phase 5 will be made. Teams may also decide to finish the day by creating a set of “needs statements” or “value propositions” summating all that was learned in phase 1, so that these learnings can be used as inputs into phase 2.
Phase 2 (Day 2): Design
Phase 1 was all about identifying the problem and understanding what the value in the concept is to explore further. Phase 2 is all about visualising these problems and creating concepts. The team will use several creative techniques to brainstorm concepts around an area of interest. Concepts must be kept broad initially and the techniques used to facilitate these sessions are designed for quick rapid successions of iterative design.
In some cases, ideas generated by one individual may spark an idea from another person, which causes the idea to grow and expand. By the end of the day, the team will have used multiple techniques to push their thinking and stretch their concept development. They will also have gone through several rounds of concept clustering.
Phase 3 (Day 3): Develop
The aim of this phase is all about decision making. Now that there are multiple concepts from phase 2, the team must find a way to determine which of the ideas to go forward and prototype in Phase 4. Using several decision-making techniques, the team will apply filters to the concepts to iron out the stronger concepts.
Whether its time, cost or resource dependent, the team will then start to apply various rigid decision-making parameters that are specific to their organisation to select a concept or concepts to go forward and test. Once selected, the concept or concepts will then be finalised so that they are ready for building in Phase 4.
Phase 4 (Day 4): Make
The aim of this day is to prototype and create a study methodology for phase 5. Each member of the team has an assigned role for the day with associated tasks specific to their role as co-ordinators, planners or designers. Phase 4 ends with a pilot of the study methodology and prototype, in the intended study environment to be used in phase 5.
Phase 5 (Day 5): Test
The aim of this phase is to gather user feedback on the concept prototype. Just like Phase 4, everyone has a part to play in supporting the overall day. Once all feedback has been gathered, the team will then collate the findings in a de-brief and agree a strategy to either develop the idea or revise their strategy based on what has been learnt.
Interested in learning more?
If you are interested in finding out more about UX sprints or taking part in our Human Centred Design, UX and UI principles (How to host a 5 day UX Sprint) training course, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to assist with any enquiries.
As with all our courses, we aim to tailor them to suit our individual clients needs and use practical examples from products relating to the clients existing product portfolio. Therefore, all of our courses can be customised and conducted ‘in-house’ at a reduced rate per person.
By taking part in our Human Centred Design, UX and UI principles (How to host a 5 day UX Sprint) training course, we equip all delegates with training and practical experience in executing over 23 Human Centred Design methods, as well as gaining the skills to facilitate and moderate a 5 day UX Sprint.