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How Do Design Sprints Help Save Money?

Can Design Sprints Help Save Money?

Design Sprints are a powerful method for building world-class products, with a strong focus on understanding real users. But how do Design Sprints help save money? This week-long process validates – or invalidates – potential solutions early on, helping save time and money and ensuring you only invest in solutions with real user value. Let’s explore their importance further in user-centric Product Design!

What is a Design Sprint?

Jake Knapp introduced this effective solution in his best-selling book "Sprint," published in 2016. In his book, he focused on the idea of forgetting about being perfect and embracing imperfections. Design Sprints, or just Sprints, promote taking action quickly to reduce risks and meet business goals. A great example of it is when Knapp, as a designer and a former Google Ventures partner, had a key role in the Design Sprint that led to Google Meet.

In fact, one of my favorite quotes is, "Creativity loves constraint," and I think the Sprint methodology completely embodies that." - Catherine Courage, Product Executive at Google.

This Product Design approach is a five-day process that emphasizes the value of timeboxing. Therefore, it has a specific phase and goal for each day, which are Understand (Monday), Define (Tuesday), Sketch (Wednesday), Decide (Thursday), and Prototype and Validate (Friday). The goal is to bring product ideas to life through rapid prototyping and validate them with user feedback by the end of the week using User Testing.

Design Sprints aims to build innovative solutions to real customer problems in a much shorter period of time. They foster the idea of "failing fast" so that businesses can make informed decisions quickly, saving precious time and money!  These methods are also very effective because they help Product Designers consider all the ideas of anyone on the team, from marketing and development to sales.

How Can Design Sprints Help You Save Money?

According to the US Bureau of Labor, two out of ten new businesses fail during the first year of operation. In this context, Sprints can answer critical business questions through research, prototyping, and testing. These phases aim to future-proof business ideas to determine whether they are viable or not, reducing the financial exposure to potential failure. 

The essence of Design Sprints is to optimize all business resources to make a validated prototype the development team can use to build a Minimal Viable Product (MVP). Further, the five-day approach to Product Design can significantly reduce time-to-market, as only a couple of more weeks can represent thousands of dollars in savings. Since devs participate in the process from the beginning, they can also help reduce development times. Software Development costs can range between 35,000 and 300,000 USD, depending on complexity, so reducing the time spent on the development process can bring huge savings.

The "traditional" approach to building products only allows businesses to learn and adapt after you've launched your product, making huge investments. With a strong focus on User Experience (UX), Design Sprints helps teams learn and adapt before that happens. 

“A Design Sprint gives you a sense of power, creativity, and infinite possibilities.” - Nadya Direkova, UX Design Manager at Google Fitbit.

What is the ROI of a Design Sprint?

Let's start by defining what is the Return on Investment (ROI) of a Design Sprint by considering the success of reputable brands. For instance, Airbnb increased host listings by around 140% after improving its service with a Design Sprint process, Google's checkout got 10x higher conversion rates, and Netflix increased its engagement by 15%.

A study conducted by AJ&Smart showed how participants claimed Design Sprints led to 7x more savings in time and 2x savings in budget compared to other methods. According to experts at Human1st, even nine months of hard work can be compressed into three weeks. After extensive research, they've concluded the Sprint methodology can help save around 32,000 to up to 700,000 USD, with an average of 80,000 USD for relatively simple apps.

Why are Design Sprints Important?

Design Sprints can yield stellar results when implemented properly. Back in 2010, the design team at Google Ventures (GV) implemented this strategy, looking to create a product for seamless team collaboration. At the end of a single week, their idea ended up becoming Google Meet. Slack is another great example and success story that proves the power of Design Sprints. Going from zero to over 7 billion USD in less than five years, Slack is considered the fastest-growing business app in history. Nest and Medium are also great examples of companies using Design Sprints to drive growth and innovation.    

As we've seen so far, there's a broad range of reasons why most businesses would want to use a Design Sprint to bring their idea to life. They can help you boost creativity, drive innovation, accelerate time-to-market, foster the entire team's collaboration, and drive growth! Design Sprints align business goals with users' needs, helping companies build products users actually love. Yet the real value of Sprints is not limited to businesses trying to launch a product for the first time. Companies can also use them to refine existing products, validate new features, and even support marketing efforts.


When implemented properly, Sprints can have a massive ROI, helping businesses save money, time, and other business resources during Product Design! Sprint projects are very fulfilling and exciting because teams can witness the progression of their work in such a short period of time. 

As a UX-driven, full-cycle Product Development agency with over 14 years of experience in UI/UX design, we can endorse the power of Design Sprints. If you're curious about our work, you can check out some of our case studies with our distinguished clients. Feel free to schedule a call if you’d like to learn more about how we can help you drive growth and innovation!