What is a Design Sprint? | Day 5: Test

September 15, 2021

Day 5: Test

In this article, we will take a deeper dive into the fifth stage of a design sprint. You will learn how to test your prototype with users. This is part 6 of 6 of the “What is a Design Sprint?” series.  

Not in the right section? Use our directory to get to the right spot:

  1. Summary of a design sprint.
  2. Empathize with users.
  3. Define the long term goal.
  4. Ideate on the best solution.
  5. Prototype the solution.


The final step is to test the prototype with users. While it might seem useful to test your prototype with many people, the Nielsen Model recommends only interviewing five users who fit the target customer’s needs and issues. Testing more than five diminishes the value of return since at least 85% of the problems will be identified after listening to five people.

icon of two people looking at a prototype together

There are many ways to conduct testing. Some of them involve one-on-one interviews with a moderator. Others involve a group of testers and a moderator in a room together. Some tests can be done without a moderator. Before beginning testing, it is important to ask the user what issues they have faced when interacting with a similar product. This may point out new issues that can be addressed in the next iteration. Next, give the user a task to perform. Ask them to walk you through their thoughts while completing the task. 

Once the task is completed, using the questions prepared from yesterday, you should ask any additional questions not covered by the task. Some examples of those questions are: “How did you start a task?”, “What was the first thing you tried?”, “What were you expecting to happen?”, “What would you do next?”. 

icon of three people looking at a mobile screen together

Remember to Ask for Feedback!

Remember to ask for candid feedback. If you know you will be personally offended by the feedback, have another team member do the testing. Getting defensive from the tester would impact further answers made by them and would also impact the final product. Another tip for this process is to make the user feel comfortable, with a friendly welcome and some ice-breaker questions, like “What’s your age?”, “What do you do for a living?”, “Do you have hobbies?”, etc. 

Take note of the feedback given by the testers. This will create the next step of goals to incorporate in the next design sprint of the product or service. For a more detailed explanation of user testing, check out our User Research blog post. Although the blog post focuses on the first stage of the design sprint, it shares many tools needed for the testing stage as well.

Next Steps

With any service or product, you never want to rest on your laurels. The entire design sprint process is meant to be repeated even after the final stage to constantly improve your service or product. If you are interested in reviewing the first stage for your next iteration, continue reading with the first stage of the design sprint: empathize with users.

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