Design Sprints at the BBC

‘Design Sprints’ are a fast and structured way of developing ideas.

Each ‘sprint’ focuses on a specific design challenge. And because ‘sprinting’ is so quick, we explore a range of ideas in a relatively short space of time. That's the theory. But like any bit of design thinking, the real insight came from trying it out and testing it in practice. Over the last year we’ve done lots of design sprints, so I wanted to share what I've learnt and how we’ve developed the process.

Teams around the BBC have been experimenting with design sprints for a while. But a fellow BBC iWonder designer, Ryan Hussey inspired our team to try sprints after he read about the approach on the Google Ventures blog ‘The Product Design Sprint – A five-day recipe for startups’. We followed their template pretty closely when we began. We spread the stages over five days. Each day focused on a different set of techniques and aims.