A good kick-off prevents the pain in the future

Our first remote design sprint within 48 hours

Here is my view of our hackathon weekend we took part as a team of UX beginners: Agustina, Rodrigo, Victoria and me. The remote challenge was held BY REPLY. The key questions for me were: How might we be productive together, how might we come to decisions? How might creative minds become productive by choosing the best solutions among their ideas?

Screenshot of our Zoom Meeting with happy faces after successing in the sprint
Happy faces after we’ve successfully submitted the project


With Miro and the design sprint template, we had a pleasant start position. We agreed to write individually the first maps and thoughts on Friday after receiving the briefing.
We met on Friday evening to make sure, that everybody could use Miro. We exercised in team-building (contributing skills and seeing skills of the others) And became familiar with the design sprint method.

Day One – Creative flow

We started enthusiastically our Day One. Only now did we realize that we had set up a team and we were on the track! To solve the tension here: On two days we achieved the storyboard level (according to the design sprint method) including the business view by Rodrigo and a good marketing approach by Agustina how to implement our tool on the website.


We collected each one for himself the long term goal (as the optimistic view): To find a service for DYI makers with success guarantee and customer satisfaction. And defined the sprint questions (what could go wrong?). Later on we found together focusing clearly on the map. The similarity to the personas was one point: the question of how to enable the user during his emotional journey on his project and how to master his or her frustration facing difficulties. Rodrigo contributed a defined persona of „Stefan“ – a guy, who wants to challenge himself, save money, and who likes competitions. That helped us to stay on track. The mapping exercise was very helpful to get into the potential persona.


We approached with the already prepared lightning demos. Agustina contributed outstanding examples of community platforms for makers and changers. We got stuck discussing, whether it would be better to follow the community approach or a competitive approach from the game theory. The 4-step-sketching was here helpful to see all the aspects together. But this was a recognition: everybody in the team has its vision worth to hang in our art museum. We finished the exhausting day with artworks called „maker crush“, „increasing the wealth score“ or „the social maker network“.

Day two – it’s all about deciding

We began drawing the user flow and to wireframe the storyboard. We committed to taxonomies like achievements, community points, gift cards, and time. After focusing on the user flow on the frustrating part, Rodrigo suggested starting earlier: Empowering our Stephan already at the kickoff of his project. We could refine the dashboard and accomplish features like leaderboards and community galleries.

the wireframed dashboard within our application showing community tools and personal achievements
A good kick-off prevents the pain in the future

Now we worked on the presentation of the business model side and a refined storyboard. After wireframing, I got everyone’s approval. On the other side, we could agree about Rodrigo’s shortened customer journey and monetization concept. I became the feeling of loss of control while everybody worked for himself and contributed his best on his presentation sheet. But finally, there was a pitch presentation with the essence of our best thoughts on 10 decks! Agustina brought it in a catchy unique selling proposition as a wrap up: “Make your projects, compete and win prices, become an expert”

Lessons learned

  • Communication is key. We spoke about every step and agreed with each team member before going ahead.
  • It was helpful to divide ideation and rating, eliminating endless discussions by inviting everybody to sketch his vision and trusting the method. AJ&Smart talks here about „working together alone“.
  • Two days is too short for a design sprint, especially in a pitch situation > it would be more satisfying to test some prototype.
  • A lot of English vocabulary repeated. See the picture above.

More articles on this: Why wireframing is so important


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user test flow showing the emotional lane focused on the moment, when the user faces difficulties and needs our empowering