Successful products begin with specific users in mind. Getting to know your audience—then designing for them, and even with them—is critical to building something valuable. Google’s Design Sprint Kit offers a way to connect more deeply with potential users, while making problem-solving for the right issues a key part of the creative process. The flexible six-phase framework—Understand, Define, Sketch, Decide, Prototype, and Validate—allows for direct collaboration and testing in a matter of days. Successful sprints generate enthusiasm and thoughtful forward momentum.
Listening to local voices is a key part of doing a Design Sprint; developing a deep knowledge of potential users and their daily lives is essential, but logistics can be a challenge. So, what are the most effective ways to get face-time with an international audience who may live on the other side of the world? In this article, we’ll share how Google designers Sumier Phalake, Burgan Shealy, and Koji Pereira bridge geographical gaps by incorporating user-driven techniques to plan their sprints.
Do your research
Design sprints often rely on lightning talks—fifteen minute presentations by sprint attendees on user research, business goals, and other relevant topics—to develop a shared understanding of user and product needs. They’re generally sufficient when designing for familiar contexts, but likely won’t convey enough nuance when designing for unfamiliar users and locations. To establish the deep, local knowledge required for confident design decisions, we recommend that sprint participants travel to conduct location-specific foundational research before the sprint.