Do you have a great project idea? Are you in the process of launching a new product? Or maybe you have a UI/UX design project on deck but you’re scratching your head wondering how to get started.
Sounds like you need a design sprint!
If you’re wondering “What the heck is a design sprint?,” the simple answer is that it’s the key to unlocking your creativity in a way that’s streamlined for the marketing mind.
Most marketers are analytical, data-driven, with marketing research being what gas is to a car. If that research is the gasoline, then the design sprint is the car that will get you that eureka moment. It’s the map that helps you reach long-term goals and saves you some gray hairs in the process. Data-based decision-making is always looking back (and it’s important!); one great way to look forward is with a design sprint.
In this blog, we’re going to dive into everything you need to know about what a design sprint is and why you should use it the next time you have a marketing project on deck.
Let’s bring your best ideas to life. Ready?
Understanding the Design Sprint
What is a design sprint?
Developed by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky from Google Ventures, the design sprint is a time-mapped and collaborative approach to ideating and problem-solving. Think of it as a supercharged creative process.
In a nutshell, the sprint allows your creative team to ideate, prototype, and test potential solutions in a short amount of time. It yanks your creative personality out of your analytical mind by giving you a map of the creative process, streamlining something that would ordinarily take weeks, and condensing it into just five days.
How Design Sprints Work
Let’s break down the stages of the process.
Design Sprint Day 1
This is the research and preparation stage where you set clear goals and objectives. This is where you identify your target audience and research the problem that you are trying to solve.
For example, let’s say that you want to redesign your website. This is the stage of the process where you do competitive research on what your competitors’ websites look like, and dive into what your target audience prefers from a design perspective.
Design Sprint Day 2
This is a fun day. Bring on the ideation and brainstorming! The key to a great ideation day is to keep an open mind by letting your creative team freely ideate, even if the idea feels ‘out of the box’. To understand why you need flexibility here, check out this blog, where we dove into why marketers need flexibility in the creative process.
Design Sprint Day 3
It’s time to refine those grand ideas into one aha moment. This stage involves choosing your favorite concept from the basket of epic brainstorms. That concept gets the final rose, but are you ready for marriage yet?
Design Sprint Day 4
Now that you’ve picked your favorite idea, it’s time to create a realistic prototype of the selected concept. This is where you get ready to put that idea into action, this is your diva’s debut.
The creative team working on this will take a bow and wait behind the curtain until it’s time to implement the audience’s feedback.
Design Sprint Day 5
Now it’s time for your team to take center stage. This is the day when you will conduct user testing, gather feedback, and make any necessary adjustments to the prototype.
While the stages of the creative process might feel very crowded and involved, it’s actually a much more efficient way to get creative projects from problem to tested result.
Here is why you should run a design sprint for your next creative project.
The Benefits of Design Sprints for Marketers
When you run sprints for the first time, you will quickly notice how much more streamlined your entire creative process becomes.
Design sprints allow teams to quickly test and validate ideas while reducing the time and cost of developing solutions. They promote cross-functional collaboration and help you get a better understanding of the problem that you are trying to solve.
A great sprint can also help you identify potential creative solutions that you may not have thought of before, giving you that leg up on your competition.
The crux of it is that you can create a better, tested solution in a much shorter amount of time.
The Secret to a Great Design Sprint is a Great Creative Director
Having a creative director on your side streamlines the design sprint process even more by organizing those day-one objectives into an actionable roadmap.
Remember, creative directors straddle the line between the analytical marketing worlds and the colorful and idealistic creative worlds. They can easily and expertly guide creatives through that ideation process and cut through the clutter, so you don’t have to.
It’s like having a translator in a country where you don’t speak the language.
They can refine those ideas to get the best concept based on your business needs, target audience, and experience much faster. Because of this, they will guide you in prototyping that amazing concept and get it ready to take center stage with your executive team as the audience.
This is also instrumental in the feedback and revision stages. Because they understand you and your thought process, they are able to easily translate that into actionable guidelines for the creative team to follow.
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Ready to Start a Successful Design Sprint?
Design sprints are the key to optimizing and streamlining your creative projects. With a Creative Director on board, you’ll have brand-aligned ideas that can be quality checked at every stage, plus the creative power of the CD’s expertise. This is why every Designity client gets a collaborative Creative Director, hand-picked to be compatible with your needs, your working style, and your industry.
Ready? Set? Sprint!
If you want to send your project beyond what your competition can manage, Designity’s tech-enabled design platform, powered by the top 3% of US-based Creatives, a designated Creative Director (one point of contact!), and fully managed projects are the best way we’ve found to get products to market. Start your two-week trial to experience the system, with no up-front payment required.