The Prize of Running the UX Sprint

Sideview Elephant

How does one eat an elephant?

For obvious reasons, one cannot eat it whole.

It’s too big to fit in a human mouth. I can’t even imagine how one can cook a whole elephant. If ever it was possible—and I looked it up online—one would have to “cut it in edible chunks”. It’s just unimaginable to prepare a fire or get a pot big enough to cook, or contain a whole elephant meat.

You can pretty much use the same idea in solving business problems like: “how do we create a great user experience?”, so think of the UX Sprint as a recipe.

Just like any recipe, it has ingredients, a step-by-step guide, and it’s bound by time. Any recipe that won’t tell you an estimate of preparation time is probably a badly written one. A good recipe won’t ask you to use the whole meat unless you’re cooking for a whole tribe, which is just bananas, and frankly a bit of an overreach, I think.

I first (over)heard about the UX Sprint during my short stay in my previous company, where I was a front-end engineer. It’s an intensive 5-day process developed by Google Ventures that answers all the questions you need before you start the development process.

The idea is to strip your UX problem down to the most basic need of your intended user and come up with a solution based on facts gathered through user testing—instead of assumptions. This can be cost-efficient for startups and companies with limited resources, who often have to make decisions trade-off after trade-off.

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In an essay published in New York Times about decision fatigue, it was suggested that best decisions are determined not by a trait of a person, but by how it is structured within a process. The UX Sprint does its best to compartmentalize all the decisions that affect the end user experience at the most optimal time when the decision-makers have their focus on it; not incrementally, during the development process, when the people making the decisions are already tired from making other day-to-day decisions.

Download the UX Design brochure here.