Review of Design Sprint: A Practical Guidebook for Building Great Digital Products

Design Sprint: A Practical Guidebook for Building Great Digital Products by Richard Banfield
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There’s a lot of evidence to suggest the book wasn’t even proofed before it was published. There are spelling mistakes all over it and even an entire paragraph repeated on pages 158 and 162. 

It’s a short book padded out with irrelevant or uselessly vague anecdotes and photos that don’t relate to the topic under discussion. 
For example page 168 discusses how to use a 2×2 matrix. The text says ‘draw a Cartesian coordinate “+” on a board. A what? How big? Frustratingly there’s a large image on the opposite page… But it’s not a 2×2 matrix. I don’t know what it is, it seems to be random scribbling. It has nothing to do with the text and anyone who has never seen a 2×2 matrix or knows what a Cartesian coordinate + is, will not be enlightened. Opportunity missed. 

It could have been much better – ‘show don’t tell’ is one of the key lessons we get drummed into us at school and if the authors had followed that advice this would have been a fantastic book. As it is it’s frustrating. The ideas are good. The suggested agendas are useful. The execution is poor. 

A particular issue is that the book is clearly focused on digital design. But that clarity is only apparent when you start reading it. This makes it even more frustrating for anyone designing communications, services or other things – there’s a lot of translation needed to make it useful. 
I want to recommend this book as it’s potentially beneficial. But it’s a good example of what’s missing in the literature on design sprints rather than a long-lasting contribution to it. 

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