team working on a design sprint board for rapid prototyping
team working on a design sprint board for rapid prototyping
team working on a design sprint board for rapid prototyping
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Dec 7


Dec 7, 2023

How top brands leverage design sprints for digital acceleration

Design sprints are an increasingly popular approach to product development, with organizations like Google, Slack, and AirBnB, among many others, using them to develop a variety of user-friendly digital products, including websites, web forms, portals, landing pages, web apps, and native mobile apps.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of digital design sprints, as well as strategies for success.

What is a design sprint?
A design sprint is not just a buzzword; it refers to a powerful methodology that enables the creation of functional prototypes in an accelerated fashion – typically within two weeks. Rooted in engineering product design, a design sprint provides a preliminary version of the end product, allowing you to quickly pinpoint crucial opportunities, validate key features, test design concepts, analyze and integrate feedback.

The benefits of design sprints
If implemented correctly, design sprints have proven to be a catalyst for innovation that can reshape your digital product development journey and provide a number of immediate benefits.

The benefits of design sprints include:

An accelerated design and product development process
True to its name, design sprints prioritize speed, and translating ideas into a tangible, working prototype in as little as two weeks. This is a revolutionary departure for many organizations, where timelines of three months or more are often the norm using a conventional approach.

Faster design refinements and solution validation
Embracing the "fail fast, succeed sooner" philosophy, design sprints facilitate a comprehensive understanding of a product's early-stage look and performance. This clarity allows swift changes or improvements, reducing the risk of costly errors in the later stages of development.

Improved engagement and user experience
The iterative nature of design sprints incorporates customer feedback into designs, creating cost-effective products that align with user needs and enhance their experience.

Streamlined approval and procurement processes
Operating at an accelerated, sprint pace enables designers and developers to efficiently present new concepts, providing stakeholders with a tangible product and actual user data and feedback. It can also help secure funding for new vendors and streamline their onboarding process.

Lower product development costs
Design sprints enable functionality testing at a fraction of the cost of conventional approaches, significantly reducing overall costs.

How to succeed with design sprints

Thrillworks utilizes a five-stage process developed over 20 years while working with some of the world’s most respected organizations:

  • Develop the vision
    This phase involves focused research, exploration, and prioritization to ensure that we’re solving the right problem when setting the project’s long-term goal. It allows cross-functional teams to pinpoint critical opportunities, explore design possibilities, and identify user needs and market demands.

  • Realize the solution
    Unlocking creativity through lightning demos, ideation sketches, and generating variations of the best ideas.

  • Decide what to build
    Potential solutions undergo rapid, collaborative critique, with the team voting on winning concepts.

  • Crafting the prototype
    Ideas start to take shape through strategic architectural mapping and wireframe design. Prototypes are architectured quickly, transforming ideas into tangible representations that embody potential solutions.

  • Evaluate and optimize
    Rigorous usability tests, user feedback, and optimization processes occur to ensure the prototype meets the outcomes defined initially. Bias-free usability testing involves real users, providing valuable insights for refining and enhancing the prototype.

    Ready to unlock the potential of design sprints? Contact Thrillworks to explore our digital acceleration services and to unlock and realize the potential of human-centric, technology-driven products.

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