What is a design sprint?

A design sprint is a method used to answer important business questions through design, prototyping and testing ideas with customers. The process was designed by Google Ventures and leverages a range of user centered design (UCD) techniques that have been utilized and proven by the broader UCD community.

It involves a 5 day design “workshop” with a very structured agenda. Design sprints seek to explore the problem space, address key customer pain points and validate ideas with customers through concepts and prototypes.

Why run a design sprint?

The benefits of a design sprint are:

  • It is a quick and in-expensive why to learn and validate new ideas
  • You work with a cross functional team where every attendee gains ownership of the problem and identified solutions
  • It leverages customer feedback to steer the solutioin rather than opinions
  • Independent facilitators of the sprint will minimise the contraints imposed by an organisational view of the market and help to minmise the ‘politics’ of design

What happens?

Understand the problem space by focusing on the end user and the business. This is the focus of the first day and includes a variety of activities for the group to develop the required understanding to identify the most effective solutions.

Define the solution that will be solved by the Sprint, that is identify a framework for the kind of solution/s we are seeking to create.

Diverge; identify a range of potential solutions before committing to an option to pursue. As individuals initially, a range of sketching is completed to ideate a range of solutions (or concepts).

Decide on the potential concept to pursue.

Prototype the concept identified to cost effectively evaluate and prepare for the research to be undertaken in the validation phase.

Validate the concept as a prototype with real users.


Following the 5 day sprint we will know whether or not the concept that was explored meets user needs. From the Sprint we will know whether to proceed with the concept, whether it needs to be refined or whether an alternative should be investigated. A typical outcome from a sprint is identifying  elements of a concept are effective and those that need to be refined.

Why Nomat?

At Nomat we have experience of running design sprints with a broad range of corporate and government clients. 

We bring a practical and prgamatic mindset to running design sprints to ensure that our clients achieve their goals from the activity. 

Finally, we foster an enjoyable and accountable atmosphere to faciliate the best outcomes for your sprint.