The benefits of Design Sprints

A Sprint is a period of time which is allocated to your project where we analyse and answer any business critical questions.
By creating and testing our software development ideas on a real audience in-house, we can immediately see how real people react to the product prior to any investment being made.
Our Sprint facilitator takes ownership of the project and ensures that the ideas are thoroughly tested and critically analysed before the next phase of the project begins.

Efficient work cycle

The idea behind Design Sprints is to press project teams to come to a decision. Our Design Sprint facilitator ensures that people are on track, and also ensures that you, the customer stay focused too.
The Sprint process uses a realistic prototype to elicit feedback and inspire ideas, these early stages of the project are crucial to the overall lifecycle of the project.

The 5 Day Project Cycle

The Sprint facilitator uses a 5 day period to make sure the project follows and adheres to a strict set of guidelines.

Day One

Project outline day, this is concerned with fully understanding the brief, your business, your market, the value we can bring and how success is to be measured. In short, we need to be clear on what it is we are trying to achieve and how we measure that achievement.
This part of the cycle highlights any risk factors including what we will do to minimise or completely eliminate them.
  • Discuss
  • The end goal.
  • Long-term
  • Set a longer term realistic goal
  • Plan
  • Outline the project processes and milestones.
  • Consult the experts
  • Get additional feedback from specialists.
  • Pose
  • Hypothetical questions, such as ‘How could we?’
  • Final wrap up
  • Discussion of findings and reflection.

Day Two

This phase focuses upon innovation and marketplace differentiation. This is our creative meeting where we really start to come up with our ideas. We encourage free thinking, innovation, creativity and problem solving.
We use real life scenarios to think about how the system will work, any problems we might face and how we would overcome them. This is very much a blue sky thinking meeting aimed at encouraging the team brainstorm.
  • Think
  • Come up with and share fantastic ideas.
  • Demo
  • How the ideas would work in reality.
  • Brainstorm
  • Record and capture ideas
  • Add
  • to the existing project definitions and outlines
  • Split
  • Make the design teams
  • Review
  • Revisit and start to sketch ideas

Day Three

Includes the introduction of a ‘prototyping storyboard’ and ‘assumptions table’ to guide our prototyping and test plans.
‘Storyboarding’ creates a story and a narrative around our project. It keeps the team focused and reminds us of what we are trying to achieve.
We filter out any ideas that we feel won’t work and use our best ideas to create our prototype, we also start to add the flesh to the bones of the project.
  • Create
  • the heat map – outlining where we want the most traffic to be generated
  • Critically
  • analyse what we have done
  • Take
  • a vote on what stays, what goes and what needs to change
  • Create
  • the story which defines our project

Day Four

Create an artificially intelligent customer prototype to be tested in the real world, this prototype will evolve and adapt as your test audience interacts with it.
The prototype has internal constraints to keep it manageable at this stage.
  • Mock-up
  • the product
  • Allow
  • for user input
  • Include
  • any scripts or text

Day Five

The testing phase, this needs the co-operation of one of your key customers, an advocate, someone working in the industry who is happy to both thoroughly test and critically feedback.
This should be someone you already have a good working relationship with and someone who will benefit from the new product being rolled out.
  • It is
  • tested with actual customers
  • Customer
  • feedback is encouraged and acted upon
  • Feedback
  • is digested and the next steps decided
The 5 day Design Sprint cycle is what keeps you and us ahead of the game.
It keeps us focused, on task and on time, more importantly it includes our target audience enabling us to iron out any potential problems before they have even begun.


Case Study


The brief

Our client, Shipzee was fortunate enough to experience a period of fast growth, however, despite this success, it presented a whole new set of challenges. They came to us for help. Initially, we spent a lot of time talking to staff members at all levels and through analysis of these discussions concluded that one of the biggest challenges came from the use of Agents.
We decided that automating this side of the business and cutting out the ‘middle-man’ would be of enormous benefit to the organisation. Following this, we created our first phase prototype which enabled their users to undertake more tasks directly and for themselves.
The prototype was tested on a live audience, (the customers themselves) and feedback was requested and elicited.

The results

Following our thorough testing and consultation with the customer market, we were able to confidently say that our software would deliver exactly what they required. We worked through our normal Sprint cycle and in collaboration with the staff at Shipzee came up with a real life working version (version 4), which was rolled out for further testing and analysis.
This critical testing phase produced invaluable feedback enabling us to modify, retest and re-release the product. Using this process enabled us to constantly engage and communicate with the customer, keeping both us and them on target and on track.
“We needed to upgrade our platform, but we weren’t sure about our priorities. Horion Digital facilitated the design sprint and helped us to extract information, make the decisions and test it with real users. ​”
Client photo Shipzee
Mantas Ribelis