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Dec 10, 2021

Developing and devising products: innovation processes at a glance

Design sprint, discovery sprint, futures thinking – which process delivers which result? We will show you how to further develop your products and services while creating new market successes.

It’s an enormous challenge to develop innovative products and services: With the latest technologies in mind, competitors must be monitored, markets must be developed, and users' needs must be anticipated. If you want to keep an overview, you have to know how to achieve specific goals. We present three important processes for the development of products and services.

Raise the curtain for the future

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The design sprint is a clearly structured process with defined methods that leads to tangible, evaluated solutions of improvements or new ideas in five days.

In the discovery sprint, a product vision is realized within four to eight weeks and tested for feasibility and user needs via a prototype.

Futures thinking is looking for new, innovative answers. The vision relevant to a company can be experienced through a prototypical implementation, thus enabling informed strategic decisions.

Other significant differences

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The main differences are clearly visible: While design and discovery sprint are related to the here and now, futures thinking takes a step back from the current situation and looks at trends and future role of the company.

Supermarkets serve as an example: In the design sprint, a feature of the future new customer app is developed and tested. In the discovery sprint, the user's shopping experience is scrutinized and a new way of shopping is developed and tested. Futures thinking makes shopping in ten years a tangible experience.

So, it's worth having the goal in mind first: How far do we want to go? Do we have to go for the ideal solution, or are small improvements enough for the time being? What is the status of our product development? The answer to these questions makes it easier to choose the right approach.

The Authors

Stefanie Angele

As Creative Director at UID Stefanie is responsible for the holistic UX development of digital products. She coaches companies in the UCD process and develops innovative products for the world of today and tomorrow, considering technologies and trends.


Marion Gottschling

Whether social media, PR concept, journalist inquiry or trade fair organization - Marion designs UID's communication with the Corporate Communications team. The information designer and PR consultant knows UID on the FF: More than 15 years ago, she was the first employee of Corporate Communications.