A white woman in a power pose, pointing off into the distance while her red hair blows in the wind.

Image Credit: Thomas Mowe

In week 4, we are entering the first of our Sprint sessions. As this will be my first official Sprint, I will do it alone to learn the ropes of this new format. In preparation, we were asked to define what we would like to achieve by the end of the Sprint, a particular challenge, a new technique or something else entirely. Thinking about this question made me realise something. I am really good at staying in my comfort zone. Any time I have undertaken a similar challenge, I default to the easiest option, not because I don’t want to try hard but because I’m scared of failing.

So, in this Sprint, I will embrace the prospect of failure.

And by failure, I mean not achieving exactly what I want, perhaps not finishing something fully or having lots of problems along the way because I’m trying new skills or techniques. Basically, I am using this Sprint to experiment with a new frame of thinking, that it’s ok to challenge myself and ‘fail’ because even a little progress in something new is worth celebrating.

To help with this over-arching goal, here is my ‘Jam Plan’, my ‘Sprint Blueprint’, my ‘Bring it on, Hackathon’ in a nutshell:


Once we have our Sprint theme, I will use mind mapping and brainstorming techniques to blurt out as many wild ideas as possible before narrowing them down to one.

Despite this being a sprint, I will remember the essence of what I am doing: creating a product for people to use (Friis Dam and Teo 2020). With my idea in mind, I will jump onto Reddit or other forums related to my idea to see potential users’ problems, thoughts, opinions or desires.

Once I have a basic overview of the users connected to my idea, I will use a Point of View (POV) template as a basic user persona to define pain points and potential directions for my Sprint. Ideally, I want to make a holistic user picture and consider many aspects of a user journey. However, I will be happy with one or two POVs considering sprint conditions.

My POV templates will inform an actionable problem statement followed by bitesize How Might We (HMW) statements that will drive my work for the design sprint, keeping me focussed and avoiding over-scoping (Banfield et al. 2015). The best case scenario would be to have a sexy and eye-catching problem statement (Friis Dam and Teo 2020), so I will utilise ChatGPT to develop one with an engaging project title. Despite how incredible the technology is, I feel resistant to ChatGPT, so using it for little bits and pieces will help me see it as another beneficial tool rather than a monster that might take over the world.

Due to time constraints, I will use paper prototypes and wireflows to sketch rough ideas before moving into Figma to create a vertical slice of my Sprint prototype. It would be nice to experiment with a new program, but I currently don’t have access to Sketch or Adobe XD, and Figma is free!


I will challenge myself by fostering a growth mindset.

After my first ideation session, I will not make a beeline for the easy option when I am converging onto the idea I will take into the Sprint. I will say no to the idea I know I can already do.

Instead, I will focus on what I know will be difficult, which I have never done before.

This might seem simplistic to some people, but this will be a big step in my personal development. But by picking a challenging idea, I will not over-scope my project by going for something unachievable. My goal will be tough, but with some hard work will be doable within the sprint time frame. And even if I don’t finish something, I can always come back later and polish it up.

To achieve this goal, I will utilise the UX and broader design community and the truly alarming amounts of content out there designed specifically to help people. Over the next few days, I will collate a list of my favourite YouTube channels, Pinterest shorts and general how-to blog posts that I will use as a resource bank. I will keep these resources together so I can use them for future projects because what’s the point in doing the research if you can’t keep coming back to it?

It will mean a lot to me to undertake a challenging project in this design sprint. I have always always always picked the option I know I can do, which is great for completing my project but not conducive to growth. So, by deliberately setting this bar for myself, I am opening the door to do the same thing in the next Sprint. With each successive challenge, I will aim to increase the difficulty just enough so that I will actually grow, not just as a UX designer, but as a human bean.

A line drawing animated GIF showing a woman wrapped in a blanket stepping one toe outside of her circle, the word 'Progress' appears above her head and suddenly she smiles

Image Credit: Sarah's Scribbles


    BANFIELD, Richard, C. Todd LOMBARDO and Trace WAX. 2015. Design Sprint: A Practical Guidebook for Building Great Digital Products. O’Reilly Media, Inc.

    FRIIS DAM, Rikke and Yu Siang TEO. 2020. ‘What Is Ideation – and How to Prepare for Ideation Sessions’. The Interaction Design Foundation [online]. Available at: https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/article/what-is-ideation-and-how-to-prepare-for-ideation-sessions [accessed 11 Feb 2023].


    German vocabulary of the week

      Kindness – Freundlichkeit