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Design Sprint vs Discovery Sprints

Discovery Sprints vs Design Sprints

Discovery and Design Sprints are powerful tools to help teams progress rapidly in complex situations. They enable businesses to rapidly test ideas, validate assumptions, build prototypes, and gain valuable user feedback. Discovery Sprints focus on uncovering insights into user needs, while design sprints involve creating solutions based on those needs. Let's understand how they work together to construct new products, from ideation to testing, in just a couple of days. With these processes in place, you can stay ahead of your competition and create seamless user experiences.

What is a Design Sprint?

A Design Sprint is an accelerated problem-solving and strategic decision-making five-day process. It typically involves a cross-disciplinary workshop that brainstorm, analyze, design, develop, and test solutions. A Design Sprint aims to rapidly gain feedback and insights from product stakeholders, users, and key players through usability testing. Design Sprints usually last five days, and a different process stage occurs in each day.

What is a Discovery Sprint?

A Discovery Sprint is a time-constrained process for quickly understanding user needs, uncovering insights, and validating solutions. It's the perfect way to kickstart any design project, aiming to explore new digital products and leverage existing ones. This process involves individual activities like interviews, surveys, data analysis, and prototyping. It culminates in creating a product concept that meets user and business needs.Many people underestimate Discovery Sprints and consider them another part of the design process. However, they're critical to strong understanding if you have a viable product (Product Discovery), let alone determining on a deeper level the users' needs. As a result, you can address the project toward fulfilling specific needs you know your users have!

How to Conduct a Discovery Sprint?

Discovery Sprints help businesses of all sizes to gain clarity on the most important challenges they face and develop actionable plans for moving forward. Each phase has specific tasks to achieve success at the end of the sprint.

How to Conduct a Discovery Sprint

1. Discovery Sprint Framing

Teams must define their challenge and gather relevant data about it. They should ask questions like: What do they want to learn? What do they already know? These questions help them gain focus and direction, informing their approach during the rest of the sprint.

2. Discovery Sprint Mapping

Once the framing is complete, teams move on to mapping, creating a visual representation of the user's problem and its underlying systems. It allows them to easily identify patterns in the data and make connections between components they may haven't considered before.

3. Discovery Sprint Diverging

Diverging is then used to generate possible solutions for tackling the problem through brainstorming sessions or ideation workshops. During this phase, ideas should be encouraged without judgment so that teams can explore every avenue available to them as they search for creative solutions.

4. Discovery Sprint Converging

Converging is where teams narrow down their solution list and prioritize those with the highest potential impact with input from stakeholders or external experts if necessary. Teams may also use tools such as Lean Canvas or Impact Mapping to help them evaluate options more thoroughly before deciding what should move forward.

5. Discovery Sprint Testing

Finally, teams enter a testing mode where they experiment with different approaches and validate any assumptions made throughout the process. It helps ensure that any proposed changes or solutions are viable in real-world scenarios before officially implementing them within an organization's operations.

Using Discovery Sprints, teams can quickly identify problems and develop targeted solutions to implement while producing meaningful results efficiently. You might have seen some similarities between Discovery and Design Sprints. Yet, you must understand that they're completely different as they tailor to other aspects of the cycle of product delivery.

Benefits of Discovery Sprints

The advantages of using a Discovery Sprint are numerous. The most obvious benefit is that it allows teams to develop new potential solutions quickly while reducing the risk of launching or building out large projects. In addition, it enables organizations to test ideas on smaller scales before committing resources and money to full product development, which can help reduce costs and make them more agile in responding to customer needs or changes in the market. Discovery Sprints also help create alignment between stakeholders by giving everyone a shared understanding of the problem and the best solution approach.

A Discovery Sprint can be an effective way for teams to uncover innovative solutions and bring new product ideas or services to market faster. This advantage is crucial in today’s highly competitive digital landscape.

Design Sprint and Discovery Sprints Differences

Design and Discovery Sprints can be powerful tools to help businesses create and test products. However, some key differences between the two can make one more appropriate than the other in certain situations.

Design Sprint teams are rapid, collaborative, and problem-solving. They create solutions for a given challenge. It typically takes place over several days, with the team working together to identify opportunities, map out possible solutions, prototype ideas, and test them with actual users.

On the other hand, a Discovery Sprint is less focused on designing and more on understanding if products are suitable. It explores user needs to know how they interact with the product. So helps teams understand user behaviors and preferences to create better User Experiences. A dDiscovery Sprint also involves prototyping activities, primarily gathering feedback from users rather than creating end products or services.


In summary, product design and Discovery Sprints are effective ways of developing innovative new products and services. By using either of these processes, organizations can quickly develop innovative human-centered designs to help them stay competitive in the digital landscape.