February 9, 2022

How Our Design Sprint Takes an App From Idea to App Store


Over the years, our team has refined our design sprint process to cater for apps of all shapes and sizes. Known as ‘rapid prototyping’, we problem solve, validate ideas, produce mockups and create a development roadmap in a condensed time window – saving our clients months of unnecessary work. 

The main goal of our rapid prototyping is to solve the problems our clients are trying to answer with their product, via idea validation, app mockups and a plan to build and launch a potentially industry-defining app on Apple App and Google Play Stores. 

Why we use design sprints

Design sprints are all about tangible results that solve problems in the quickest possible time. 

Rather than committing thousands of pounds to unproven ideas, design sprints can help identify who an app is for, what problem it’s solving and what technology is needed to create the product. By solidifying apps in research, we create products that are right for the client, rather than something that’s simply good

Our condensed five-day design sprint 
Day 1 - Discovery

Every design sprint kicks off with a discovery meeting with our client. 

In this collaborative brainstorming session, the aim is to set out how we can take the app from product idea to a clear plan for the design and development build. We spend time with different people within the business and other stakeholders to really understand the drive behind the app. Sharing experiences and asking questions at the beginning of our design sprint will fuel further steps so it’s vital that we challenge any ideas and thoughts to test the validity of the concept. 

Example 1: Finding solutions for the problems the user faces

By the end of the day, the client will have a clear understanding of how we’ll go from this initial vision right the way through to the finished app that's ready for the market.

Day 2 - Research

Day two is all about research. By focusing on the client’s industry, we can assess what competitor products have the same functionality or audience and within that, what’s working and what isn’t in the broader marketplace. 

Examining different UI components and design systems at this stage means that we can base our initial design work on a variety of different technical solutions.

Our primary user research will include comparing the reviews and the popularity of certain apps over time so we can assess any parallels between features and usability. 

Example 2: Competitor Analysis
Day 3 - The Visuals

Moving into day three of our five-day design sprint, we focus on the visual elements of the app. Our research goes into a mind-map and mood board and we map out the different design features of the prototype. During day three, we’ll also create mockups and some clear wireframes for a few key flows that show how a user might interact and use the app's core functionality.

With a bit of our own creative flair that’s guided by our discovery sessions, we’ll give the client a first look at what their app concept could look like in the context of the marketplace.

Example 3: Visualising key user flows

NOTE: UX Wireframes and mock ups are extremely valuable tools to visualise an idea to supporters and investors.

Day 4 - How do we build the app

On day four we begin our technical investigation. This is where we tie down what technologies we’ll use to develop the app based on the client’s needs and our own research. There are multiple routes we could take but for the vast majority of our projects, we’ll focus on strategies that reduce costs and streamline the build process. 

By scoping at this stage of the design sprint, we can make sure both design and development are in sync so if the client chooses to move forward with the project, there won’t be any hold ups. 

We follow the MoSCoW prioritisation method
Day 5 - Recommended next steps

Day five of our design sprint is where we wrap up the recommended solutions and actionable steps for the app development in a roadmap.

During a call or in-person meeting, we’ll lay out the details of the overall approach - including the tasks, milestones, timelines and costs - with input from the client along the way to make sure they fully understand each step. 

Even if the client doesn’t continue with us for their app build, they’ll have full ownership of an in-depth report that includes all the assets produced from the sprint and clear actions for developing the product.

What happens after rapid prototyping?

After our five-day design sprint, our clients have a tangible representation of their app and a guide on how to take it to the next level. With research and mood boards too, making decisions about the app’s future is suddenly a lot clearer. 

If a client moves forward with us, our next step is to fully develop the wireframes and high fidelity designs to visualise all areas of the app, which can then be transformed into a clickable prototype. The high fidelity designs and development roadmap can be used to start the MVP build.

Got an app idea you’d like to develop?

At Fortnight, you’ve got the full attention and skillset of a team that specialises in creating award-winning apps. We’re here to kickstart your journey and bring your ideas to life. Share your ideas and projects with us via email or our contact form.

How Our Design Sprint Takes an App From Idea to App Store