29 Oct Phase 3: Sketch
Phase 3: Sketch
In the Sketch phase, the Design Sprint team generates and shares a broad range of ideas as individuals. You will start by looking for inspiration, such as solutions in alternative spaces. Then, each Design Sprint participant will individually generate ideas for consideration. From there, the team will narrow down ideas as group to a single, well-articulated Solution Sketch per person.
The Warm Up: Comparable Problem
The Comparable Problem method is a great warm up for the Sketch phase of the Design Sprint. Sometimes the best ideas already exist—they simply need to be repurposed, presented in a new context, or combined with other ideas. Ask team members to research industries related or in parallel to your project, and to review similar business problems and their solutions. This can be assigned as homework at the end of the Understand phase or completed during the Sprint.
An example exercise: If your product is coffee, look at how other companies have described or categorized their product offering for chocolate.
- 5 mins per person
- Sprint Type
- Look for ideas from other industries or fields that relate to your business problem
- Each person will then have 3 minutes to share their examples with the group
Boot Up Note Taking
Boot Up Note Taking is a Sketch Design Sprint method that prepares the team for Crazy 8’s or other sketch generating methodology. Boot Up Note Taking is the process of reviewing what’s been generated, collecting thoughts, and preparing to sketch ideas based on the knowledge and opportunities shared in the Understand phase. By giving the team a moment to regroup, they won’t feel rushed and will be able to translate their ideas into visual form in the next steps.
- Take some time to review the goals, whiteboards, and everyone’s HMWs
- Write a list of ideas that you find compelling and want to explore
Crazy 8’s is a core Design Sprint method. It is a fast sketching exercise that challenges people to sketch eight distinct ideas in eight minutes. The goal is to push beyond your first idea, frequently the least innovative, and to generate a wide variety of solutions to your challenge.
Some team members without a design background may find this method intimidating at first, so it is helpful to reassure everyone that these are rough sketches. They do not need to be perfect or beautiful—sketches just need to communicate the idea. If necessary, you could even hold a quick “how to sketch” tutorial session before starting this exercise.
It’s also important to remember that the ideas do not have to be great. This exercise is about quieting the inner critic and giving our creative impulses space to flourish. Weird, impossible, and impractical ideas often give way to truly inspired ones. It’s called Crazy 8’s for a reason.
- Take your paper and fold it into eight sections
- Set the timer for eight minutes
- Each team member sketches one idea in each rectangle
- When the timer goes off, put your pens down
Crazy 8’s Sharing and Voting
After everyone has finished the Crazy 8’s exercise, it’s time for each team member to share the ideas they have generated and discuss with the group. In order to not get bogged down, give each sprinter roughly 3 minutes to present. If they risk running long, let them know. Keep it moving.
After the entire team has presented their sketches, hold a round of voting. You’re not choosing the idea you’re moving forward with yet. Instead, you’re weeding out any sketches that aren’t feasible and/or won’t help the user.
- Put up each sprinter’s sketches on a wall or whiteboard one at a time so everyone can see them clearly
- Each person has three minutes to talk through the ideas they generated and answer any questions other teammates may have
- Give each team member three votes
- The team will have five minutes to indicate the three most compelling ideas by voting on the specific sketches (not the entire paper)
- It is ok to vote for your own sketch or to put all three dots on one idea if you think it is truly the most valuable to pursue
The Solution Sketch
The Solution Sketch is a Design Sprint method used to expand upon one solution idea. In this exercise, each team member spends more time articulating one idea they are most interested in, regardless of the most popular ideas identified from the Crazy 8’s sketches. It is okay to sketch a new idea or a combination of ideas, and a sketch can even include other people’s ideas.
The goal is to create one fully fleshed out idea for the solution that is thought to be the best. Each team member creates their own detailed Solution Sketch. A Solution Sketch should include three frames or states of the concept to help illustrate how it works, as well as a clear title to help people remember it.
- Select the idea from your own or others you think is the best
- Flesh out the idea in a detailed sketch
- Use multiple frames, pictures, and words in your sketch. This will help you communicate your thoughts to the team