The 5-Day Design Workshop … Sort Of

I recently had a startup ask me to brainstorm solutions to their current product. After a 1.5 hr session, they wanted to turn it into a 1-day project. But my reply was “no way – you can’t fix a product in 1 day”. Since then, I’ve been thinking more and more about what quantifies as Lean – and does it mean UXers should be able to create 1-day bite size projects?

My answer is still “no way”, however, there are steps we can take in a 1-week sprint that I find helpful. These are based on the theories of C. Todd Lombardo; and explained by Bruce McCarthy in his talk titled: Lean Roadmapping: Where Product Management & UX Meet.

Here are Lombardo’s steps toward a 1 week Design Sprint:
1) Interviews on Monday
2) Compare notes on Tuesday
3) Brainstorm what you want to prototype on Wednesday
4) Build the prototype on Thursday
5) Show it to Monday’s interviewees for feedback/validation on Friday

Of course, to hold interviews on Day 1, there has to be a considerable amount of planning on Pre-Day 1 in order to: get those interviews set up; UX and stakeholders assembled; and the re-visit on Friday with the Day 1 attendees. So, theoretically, a 5-Day Design Sprint works; but don’t expect to accomplish it in 5 days.