Design Sprint Day 2: Sketch

The second day of the Design Sprint is about finding inspiration, looking back at the decisions made during Day 1, and starting to assemble possible solutions. Now that the team has narrowed down a problem space, it’s time to start the idea generation process again, but this time with sketches.

Lightning Demos

After discussing what we’re inspired by in other spaces, we need to decide how and if we divide up Monday’s map. If the problem space is super focused, then we can all work on the same part. If it’s a little broader, then we’ll split it up and give team members areas of focus for the next portion of the Design Sprint.

Finding Focus

Next I wanted to get the lay of the land with regard to the digital assets I’d be working with. I like to start with a simple site map diagram showing the existing architecture of the site and how things work at a high level. Diagramming forces you to investigate and articulate how something is put together, which helps you learn how it works. It’s also great to document where things are when you begin so you can track changes over time. The theme of this blog post is documentation! Just kidding, but really it’s so important. Document as much as you can. It’s always helpful to have it when you need it.


Let’s start out by saying what sketching is and isn’t. It is a quick way to get what’s in your head on paper. It is not pretty or precise or art. You do not need to be good at drawing to be successful here. There are 4 parts of the sketching process:


The team needs to take some notes about what they liked in the lightning demos that suit the focus area. The team should be asking themselves questions like: What do we like about one solution vs another? Where do we imagine being able to use something from one example as part of the solution to the problem we narrowed down yesterday? This is about gathering the most important information you’ll need to solve the problem, and keeping track of those aspects as you start thinking about solving the problem.


Take some time to doodle rough solutions based on the notes you’ve gathered. Words with lines between them are fine! Stick figures are fine! What matters is just getting a start on conceptualizing your solution. Get it out of your head and onto paper.


This is a technique used for rapidly ideating on a solution. As quickly as possible, team members work alone to come up with 8 possible solutions for solving the problem. The 8 solutions don’t need to be radically different but they can be. Sometimes you have several paths to explore, and sometimes you just get stuck on that first good idea. Either way is fine so long as you’re thinking about the problem and working towards your best idea for how to solve it.


Next up, sketching. Team members pick their favorite solution from the crazy-eights exercise and make it more detailed and built out. The team will spend the next 30 minutes working on their individual sketches. While the other parts of our sketching exercises aren’t shared, this one is. For this exercise, you’re trying to get as much detail in as possible, including the text and a descriptive title. This is the time to make use of these previous planning activities and finally share what you think might address this solution.


That’s it for Tuesday! On Wednesday, we’ll present our sketches and start making decisions about the solution we want to pursue for the rest of the sprint.