At Google and throughout the industry, we all agree that two things matter: design and speed. But how can we do great design quickly? For our teams, one of our most important tools is the design sprint.
While a typical product design process takes months or years, a design sprint compresses this into a week or less. The design sprint combines key design and research methods and focuses on a single challenge or multiple challenges in parallel. It brings all the stakeholders—designers, developers, product managers, and other decision makers—into one place to work together on a short deadline. It often leads to insights and solutions more quickly than anyone thought possible. At Google, we've been using design sprints for over four years, from external projects like Ads, Glass and Project Loon to our internal tools.
One team has even run a huge sprint with 175 participants in 23 teams. How did that feel? As Cordell Ratzlaff, User Experience Director for Ads & Commerce, says: “When you participate in a sprint, you either win or you learn.” Our latest Google Design Minutes short tells this story:
We’re really excited about sharing our design sprint methods more broadly. Design sprints were an important theme in the “Design, Develop, Distribute” message at Google I/O 2014, where developers got a chance to learn about and experience short sprints in person.
However, this was just a first glimpse; over the summer, we’ll be hosting design sprints for select developers in the Bay Area, helping developers design for platforms like Glass and Android Wear or build with the material design approach. To get updates when these limited-seating events become available, sign up here.
No matter what your challenge and design process, design sprints can help you reduce the time it takes to create great ideas. So make great things, and make them quickly!