In the End of August 2018 I had the chance to participate in a Design Sprint facilitated by AJ&Smart. Together with Migros and Namics, we invested four days to work on the future of Migros iMpuls, a project I have been working on for about two years.
When I travelled across the States in September 2017, I took my chance to experience some of the IBM offices across the pond.  

Focusing on one part of the scenario


"Crazy eight", super crazy ideation


Drawing a storyboard of the idea

“Create and test a new idea in 5 days”, is what a Design Sprint, originally invented by Jake Knapp, promises. I was especially interested in the differences and similarities in AJ&Smart’s Design Sprint and IBM’s Design Thinking.

 The biggest difference I noticed was the human centered approach of Design Thinking. Through tools like empathy maps or needs statements or by involving a sponsor user, you really try to change into your user´s perspectives before you think of how to solve their pain points, which I as a UI/UX Designer advocate for. I missed this approach in the Design Sprint. In the Sprint we did, however, do a first, rough user testing on an actual, digital prototype. Design Thinking as I know it did contain a paper prototype but I really embrace the possibility of having (or in my case being) a product designer to produce a very first prototype within one day. This one day of prototyping was really challenging but at the same time really exciting since I got into that rush of way to much to do in way to less time where you really get the most of yourself as a Designer.

 I really liked the inspirational part called “lightning demos” where every participant very quickly presented an existing product/app/feature/concept that she/he thinks to be inspiring for the others when doing the ideation process. Although I think it useful to ask participants to do a little research in advance, so they don´t feel rushed and the output is of high quality.

 Both systems equal one another in the principles of less talking, more writing / drawing, quantity over quality and every voice is heard. Additional to a voting system of sticking dots to the Postit’s idea you like, which Design Thinking and the Design Sprint offer, the Sprint enables one decider to take the final vote, always. The decider is usually the PO or the person with the most responsibility towards the product in real life. Other than in a Design Thinking workshop, the person responsible is in this case able to shape the ideation process into the direction she/he thinks best whilst making sure every expert opinion is heard and carefully considered.

 I consider both methods excellent ideation and validation processes and I am inspired to take on some of the Design Sprint aspects I mentioned to enrich our future Design Thinking workshops. I do however prefer Design Thinking‘s user centered approach within the ideation process.

Photos © AJ&Smart

© Antonia Horvath, 2018 | LinkedIn | Behance