May 05

Design Sprint Silicon Valley — Adapting the five day design sprint

A Design Sprint is a unique five day process for validating ideas and solving big challenges through prototyping and testing ideas with customers as popularized in The Sprint Book.

One of the perks of working in the Bay Area is the opportunity to attend networking events with those who share a passion for design and product development. Unfortunately for those who live and work in the Pennisula or South Bay Area, most of the worthwhile events are hosted in San Francisco. And after a long day of work who really wants to take that hour-long Caltrain ride up to the city — then back again late in the evening?

An event that often makes the trip worthwhile is Design Sprint San Francisco — hosted by Diana Ying Liu and The SIX. Design Sprint SF helps people understand what a Google-style Design Sprint is, what Design Thinking methods are, how both can feed into the Agile Development process, and when to use the approaches for maximum impact.

When Diana and her crew hosted an event in San Jose I was quick to mention how many people might enjoy more events in San Jose and she seemed open to the idea. After a chat over espresso days later I was pursuaded to make it happen.

Design Sprint Silicon Valley

Three design thinkers and I founded Design Sprint Silicon Valley, and hosted the inagural meetup at Google Building 46 — AKA the Google Garage in Mountain View on March 13, 2019. The event was a success, with a turnout of around 35 people or so. Way more than anticipated.

I've been attending and speaking at meetups for years, but hosting one was something else. Thankfully, the gang of four co-organizers really helped bring things together — finding speakers, prepping the space, and keeping positive energy high during our weekly Slack and Google Meet check-in calls.

Chikezie Ejiasi, Senior Interaction Designer on Google Daydream discussed how he used the Design Sprint process in crafting the Playground AR experience and how it provided the framework for The Champions Initiative.

Alexandrea Alphonso, Program Manager at Google, spoke about lessons she’s learned from organizing and facilitating Design Sprints at Google — and how to set yourself up for success when you adapt the Design Sprint process to less than 5 complete days.

Tiffany Lin, Experience Designer Designer at Adobe showed us how to use the “How Might We” methodology to take notes and frame problems.

Adapting the five day design sprint

My talk was about Strategies for Adapting the Design Sprint — when dedicating 5 consecutive days to the process just isn’t feasible. Designers new to Design Sprints commonly run into problems when trying to introduce Design Sprints to an organization, especially where stakeholders don't yet see the value of them, or are simply too busy to devote time to something they don't know much about.

Download — Adapting The Five Day Design Sprint

I took an illustrative approach to my deck, which hopefully both informs and amuses. The deck should be pretty self-explanatory, but if you have questions about it — or would like for me to give this talk at your event please reach out.

Written by Seth Banks

Seth spends most of his days leading the design team at Green Bits and improving Cashboard. Occasionally he finds time to write about music, design, startups, and technology.

Tagged: design sprint, design thinking, design abilities