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Design Sprint Shorts: episode 12 – The Breakup Letter


Dear [product/service/process],

We have to talk…

It’s not you, it’s me…

Yes, this is a “Dear John” letter. But it’s not just any Dear John letter. A Dear John letter, also known as a breakup letter, is a great exercise to identify what’s holding people back and where parts of an organization are not functioning well. It’s a letter that’s designed to help you understand the emotional connection and pain points between people and their products, services, and/or processes. Instead of asking participants what they like or don’t like, this creative (and fun!) method can give you insight into perceptions by eliciting feelings of admiration, appreciation, frustration or aversion based on real-life experiences and interactions.

We recently used this exercise in one of our quarterly Product Roadmapping Workshops. We asked the group to write a Dear John letter to their product roadmap. That’s right – they wrote a letter to their broken product roadmap process. The responses were surprisingly detailed and quite humorous, and many in the room could commiserate.

During this episode of Design Sprint Shorts, you’ll learn how to craft a Breakup Letter in a group setting.

Watch this week’s Design Sprint Short:

Send us an email if you have any questions about our Design Sprint process or want to discuss whether your challenge would benefit from one.

See all the videos in the series

Author C. Todd Lombardo

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