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9 Design Sprint Examples: Successful Stories from Startups

9 Design Sprint Examples: Successful Stories from Startups
9 Design Sprint Examples: Successful Stories from Startups

Design sprints examples have become a powerful tool for startups and established companies alike to accelerate innovation and solve complex problems. 

By condensing the design process into a short timeframe, design sprints allow teams to ideate, prototype, and test solutions in just a matter of days. 

In this article, we will explore 9 real-world examples of successful design sprints from startups across various industries. 

Let’s start!

9 Design Sprint Examples you should follow

These examples showcase the effectiveness of design sprints in driving innovation and achieving tangible results:

1. Lego

lego as a design sprint examples

In the top of our Design Sprint examples.

LEGO undertook a bold experiment by running 150 Design Sprints over 12 months, demonstrating the effectiveness of an agile and rapid approach to innovation. 

Remarkably, LEGO paused production to empower teams to engage in these sprints with minimal initial training. 

This strategy allowed project managers to take a flexible, day-by-day approach, planning for each subsequent day of the sprint as the team tackled the current tasks. This approach highlighted a key lesson: you can start a Design Sprint with basic preparation and refine your strategy as you progress. 

LEGO’s adoption of design sprints at a large scale was driven by the need to break out of entrenched habits and introduce significant changes quickly and effectively within their internal agency. The decision to implement these design sprints stemmed from several key reasons:

  1. Need for a radical change: The internal agency at LEGO was stuck in a decade-long routine that wasn’t adapting fast enough to meet new challenges. By pulling the “emergency brake”—halting regular operations to focus exclusively on design sprints—LEGO created a sense of urgency and importance around the change, ensuring it garnered the attention and commitment needed from the entire organization.
  2. Systematic and scalable transformation: Before the large-scale rollout, LEGO had experimented with design sprints on a smaller scale. The positive outcomes from these initial sprints provided the confidence to expand this approach across the agency. This method required a structured and systematic initiative backed by senior management to ensure it could be implemented on a large scale.
  3. Empowerment and immediate results: Design sprints empowered teams by allowing them to experiment and see immediate results from their efforts. This approach helped build internal support as teams felt more engaged and saw the tangible outcomes of their work.
  4. Building a sustainable culture of innovation: By embedding design sprints into the regular workflow, LEGO aimed to cultivate a continuous culture of innovation. This approach aligns with their broader organizational goals of staying ahead in creativity and product development.
  5. Alignment with organizational values: LEGO’s ethos of “bias for action” and “inventing the future of play” naturally aligns with the dynamic and fast-paced nature of design sprints. This method supports their vision by facilitating rapid prototyping and testing, which is essential in developing innovative products and solutions.

2. Quizlet

quizlet

Quizlet, an online learning platform, used design sprints to gain valuable insights into their users’ needs and preferences. 

Through customer research and insights, Quizlet was able to identify potential new features that resonated with their target audience. By testing different prototypes and gathering user feedback, Quizlet was able to narrow down their focus and prioritize the specific features that students across the country wanted and needed. 

The design sprint process allowed Quizlet to streamline their product offerings and deliver a more personalized learning experience.

At LoopStudio, our approach to handling feedback is both systematic and strategic. During the design sprint, we meticulously categorize all feedback received, organizing it by complexity and priority. This method allows us to swiftly identify critical issues that need immediate attention, ensuring that they are addressed promptly in the sprint’s next phases.

3. The British Museum

british museum

The British Museum embarked on a design sprint to improve the way visitors interacted with their website. Through user research, the team discovered that visitors were not using the website to plan their physical visits to the museum. 

The design sprint process allowed the team to tackle this wayfinding issue by conducting interviews and testing ideas at the physical museum. 

Key takeaways from the Design Sprint process made at The British Museum:

  1. Carefully Select the Problem: The British Museum chose the issue of wayfinding as their focus for the sprint because it affects both digital and physical visitor experiences. This choice allowed participation across different departments, ensuring a comprehensive approach to solving the problem.
  2. Start Small and Iterate: The museum’s first design sprint was experimental, aiming to familiarize the team with the process. They began with a manageable scope and a readiness to navigate through uncertainties, learning as they progressed.
  3. Use the Sprint as an Evangelism Tool: The sprint served as a platform to demonstrate the effectiveness of user-centered design processes to other departments within the museum. This helped in advocating for a shift from traditional decision-making to approaches based more on user research and product management principles.
  4. Make Work Visible: By leaving their work on display in a shared space, the team encouraged curiosity and engagement from other museum staff. This visibility not only facilitated discussions about their process but also challenged existing perceptions of the digital team’s role within the museum.
  5. Learn from Failures: The team tested a “meeter-greeter” prototype, which led to unexpected insights about visitor interactions, particularly around language barriers. These findings influenced ongoing initiatives to improve wayfinding and staff interaction with visitors.

If you want to know more about this design sprint example and how your website design can communicate your company’s value click here.

4. Netflix

netflix design sprint

To combat declining subscriber engagement, Netflix employed Design Sprints to revitalize their content discovery process. 

These sprints facilitated rapid alignment among stakeholders and accelerated the identification of promising enhancements, such as the introduction of the Top 10 rows showcasing contextually relevant content. 

By integrating prototyping and user testing within the sprints, Netflix not only validated concepts quickly but also gained the confidence to implement and launch these innovative discovery features efficiently. 

This strategic use of Design Sprints enabled Netflix to effectively improve user experience and engagement through targeted, user-centric updates.

5. Meta

meta

Meta’s case study on evolving the News Feed demonstrates the impactful application of Design Sprints to a highly optimized product, where even minor adjustments can lead to significant outcomes. 

Despite the usual association of Design Sprints with revolutionary changes, Meta successfully applied this method to incremental updates, focusing on small, pixel-level changes in spacing that improved the overall user experience. 

For example, Meta’s recent initiative, redesigning their Avatar Experience, exemplifies this commitment. By hosting a co-design sprint that brought together people from diverse backgrounds, Meta aimed to create avatar tools that allow for greater self-expression and inclusivity in the Metaverse, reflecting a wide array of identities and experiences.

The importance of such initiatives extends beyond compliance with accessibility laws; it fosters innovation and ensures products meet the diverse needs of users. Companies often limit their testing groups to familiar networks, which can inadvertently reinforce existing access barriers. By broadening the scope of participation in product design and testing, businesses can uncover and address hidden barriers, thereby enhancing the user experience for everyone. The success of Meta’s co-design sprint highlights the benefits of collaborative design processes that prioritize community participation and diverse perspectives.

6. ESI-Data

esi data

In our collaboration with ESI-Data, LoopStudio leveraged a Design Sprint to address their challenge of securely storing and managing crucial clinical research data. 

Our diverse team of developers, a designer, a QA specialist, and a project manager engaged deeply with ESI-Data to understand their needs and iteratively develop a prototype. This collaborative sprint laid the groundwork for the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), driving the project forward with a clear focus and a solid technical proposal. 

The use of Agile methodologies throughout further enhanced our efficiency, allowing us to adapt to changes swiftly and maintain a consistent feedback loop with ESI-Data. 

This approach not only met their immediate requirements but also set a robust foundation for their future research initiatives, showcasing the transformative potential of technology in healthcare data management.

More about this in our case study.

7. Uber

uber

Uber, the ride-sharing giant, implemented design sprints to improve the driver experience on their platform. By conducting user research and testing, 

Uber was able to identify pain points and develop solutions to enhance driver satisfaction and efficiency. 

Through rapid prototyping and iterative testing, Uber implemented changes that streamlined the driver onboarding process, improved navigation, and increased overall driver satisfaction. The design sprint approach enabled Uber to make data-driven decisions and deliver a better experience for their driver-partners.

8. City of Denver

 

 

Denver City Park

 

The City of Denver creatively adapted the traditional Design Sprint methodology to enhance public awareness of its art. 

By spacing the sprint over several days and condensing some activities into just two-hour sessions, they tailored the process to fit their unique needs and the availability of participants. This flexible approach allowed for selective involvement in various sprint activities, ensuring effective use of resources and expertise. 

The result was a more effective strategy for promoting public art, demonstrating that Design Sprints can be customized to address specific challenges. 

This case underscores that adhering rigidly to standard processes is not always necessary; modifications can lead to successful outcomes, inspiring others to adapt the Design Sprint framework to better suit their specific circumstances.

9. Feedly

feedly

Feedly, an intelligent insight platform, worked to enhance their homepage using a Design Sprint. 

The main goal was to effectively communicate Feedly’s AI-driven features and the control provided by their AI robot, Leo. 

This sprint was adapted to a remote setup, involving expert interviews, prototyping, and user testing over a four-week period. The flexible, yet structured approach included a preparation week, a Design Sprint, an Iteration Sprint, and a final week for wrap-ups. 

The use of tools like Miro, Figma, and Notion facilitated collaboration across time zones. This process not only refined Feedly’s communication strategy but also proved that even remote Design Sprints can drive significant improvements in marketing and user experience strategies.

Conclusions

In conclusion, the diverse applications of Design Sprints across different industries and projects—from Meta’s incremental improvements to the News Feed, to LEGO’s ambitious rapid innovation, and Feedly’s enhanced communication of AI features—demonstrate the significant value and flexibility of this approach. 

Whether it’s redefining a product, solving complex challenges, or enhancing user engagement, Design Sprints provide a structured yet adaptable framework that fosters creativity and swift problem-solving.

If you want to work with us and if you want to grow your company with an effective Design Sprint service please contact us.