COVID-19 infections were on the rise in New York City, and we’d be working from home for the foreseeable future. My team cancelled their flights. I couldn’t just reschedule the sprint, so I needed a backup plan.
An All-Inclusive Figma Template for Your Next Remote Design Sprint
My team, spread out across three countries and three timezones, had their tickets ready to fly to New York. As the facilitator, I’d laid out Post-its and Sharpies, ready for a design sprint to create our next big thing. Then we got the email.
Enter the remote design sprint, a process for turning problems into design solutions with the goal of creating and testing a prototype with users — except virtually. With participants in different time zones, we would have a limited window when we could meet during our respective work hours. This drastically condensed our sprint schedule and meant we had to design a new way of working together. Despite these challenges, the team was able to quickly come together, rally around a problem, generate ideas, and design a vision for the future:
The key to success: Making Figma the easy-to-access place to get everything participants would need.
With remote working, it’s safe to assume that technical difficulties and other at-home distractions will happen. In the same way, designers curate a flow for users, facilitators should help guide participants through the flow of a sprint by removing barriers that could detract from the sprint exercises. So to keep us all focused and save time spent switching between apps, I created one Figma file with everything we would need — the agenda, presentation slides, exercises, and prototypes.
So you don’t have to start from scratch, here’s that Figma file modified into a template for any distributed team to use for their next remote design sprint.
With the help of other design sprint resources (see all sources on the last page of the Toolkit), I created this template as a framework for anyone to edit based on what they want to achieve in their sprint. It includes pages for:
lightning talk slides
problem framing and ideation exercises
Design sprints should be flexible and able to adapt to discoveries you make throughout the exercises or other work-from-home challenges that arise. We found it useful to allow time each day to plan for changes or roadblocks, especially if the sprint is on a time crunch, as mine was.
For additional tips on remote sprint planning, read Senior Product Designer Ben Dedrick’s article How to Lead a Remote Design Sprint.
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