Prototyping a
product in five

Why do a creative sprint?

A Creative Sprint is a five-day process pioneered by Google that empowers companies of all sizes to test assumptions with real customers. It is based on the Google Ventures Design Sprint and there was a book recently published on the methodology.

Reducing waste (time, resources or physical) is one of the biggest ways companies of all sizes can be more productive. Over just five days we will help you refine your thoughts and assumptions, design a prototype, and then put it in the hands of actual users to validate it.

We have improved and tailored the process described in the Google Design Sprint to work best for our clients and provide higher return on investment. Taking the best of the Design Sprint process we have added elements specifically designed for enterprise clients.

Large enterprises with a solid business really benefit from innovative thinking. Looking at the business holistically and discovering new opportunities to gain market share is a perfect example of when to do a Creative Sprint.

After the five-day Sprint you will know whether the product/feature you were thinking of is actually what your customers want, and will have the data to back it up should you then need to sell it up the business.


Who is the sprint perfect for?

The Creative Sprint is an incredibly powerful tool that will add value to any company but we find that our clients usually consist of managers in large enterprises.

There is usually a solid existing business plan and they are either looking for innovative ways to increase market share, or are interested in developing a new supportive product to the existing business model.

A good example of this would be the team at Admiral Insurance. Admiral obviously own a huge percentage of the market, but they became aware of emerging startups that were focusing specifically on learner drivers. Admiral wanted help to rapidly build a product to compliment their existing offering but that was tailored to the needs of young learner drivers.

They walked into Day 1 with a general idea of what they were hoping to achieve and we helped them further refine their concept, develop focused personas (target market), brainstorm dozens of potential product ideas/features, and then design a prototype that we tested with young people aged between 17-25. The results of the testing were very positive and gave the larger Admiral team confidence with moving forward with the product knowing it was what their target market was looking for.

“We thought the project flowed really well- we were surprised at how quickly we were able to get a whole new project and all the associated processes up and running.”

“We thought the project flowed really well- we were surprised at how quickly we were able to get a whole new project and all the associated processes up and running.”

by Rachel Rawlings, Product Manager, Admiral

Day 1: Understand



The first day of the Sprint is all about ‘leveling up’. In other words it’s important that everyone in the room understands the reason we are doing the Sprint, the business objectives, the current pain points and decide who the persona (target market) will be for the Sprint.

Everyone in the room will have their own understanding of the requirements/goals so it is paramount to create a common language so that there are no surprises further down the Sprint.


Day 2: Diverge



Day 2 is where we build our resources for the rest of the sprint by encouraging ‘out of the box’ thinking. We encourage everyone to go as wild as possible and think of as many crazy ideas as they can. By removing internal censorship you end up with a huge selection of great ideas that might go on to inspire someone else.


Day 3: Converge



Coming into Day 3 we’ll have dozens of potential features/ideas to make your product awesome! That’s a great start but it’s also a slight issue as we now need to make tough decisions to narrow it down into the core elements to focus on for the rest of the Sprint. It’s perfectly normal to want to test everything but there simply isn’t enough time, so we need to refine our list and start sketching simple designs to empower us in Day 4.


Day 4: Prototype



During Day 4 we work from our own office creating wireframes that we then turn into a simple clickable prototype to test with users on Day 5. We move extremely fast so there is no room for changing our minds or adding new features at this point. We link together several images so that we can simulate the app/website for the users without spending weeks of coding. This lets us design and throw away what doesn’t work in a fraction of the time it would take if we were coding an actual app/website.

Here is how a finished prototype of your product could look like after day 4 of the sprint. This type of clickable prototype is one of the deliverables of the sprint.


Day 5: Test & Learn



On Day 5 we show our prototype to actual users. Sharing the designs/ideas this quickly can be a scary thought but it is imperative to get feedback as quickly as possible to help steer the product in the right direction. We send the users a link to our prototype and then follow up with a questionnaire to get their feedback on clarity of the product, did they find it intuitive, did it solve a problem they had etc (the questions are bespoke depending on the actual product). We then present our findings back to you the following week and you can then make an informed decision about whether to continue with the project, or perhaps rethink your ideas and take a different approach.