Go where the map (of your idea) leads you - Part II | Design Sprint Series

Go where the map (of your idea) leads you - Part II | Design Sprint Series

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Teodora Istrati

Teodora Istrati



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Key Takeaways

First things first, you need to visualize your ideas. Literally, visualize them in such a manner that you can physically put your finger on them. 


So that they can step out of the concept zone into the reality we share. That’s the first step of validation. 

How to properly start a design sprint

Gather the minimum team: the Decider, the Facilitator, the Designer, and the Marketing Expert. Depending on what your business does, you might be in need of some other experts as well such as a Tech Expert.

On Day one - The Mapping Day - Pilar, emu, and the team tackled:

  1. Goals
  2. The right questions
  3. Experts’ opinion 

emu is not a new idea for Pilar. But for the world, it is still yet to be born. This is why we started off by taking some time to get into Pilar’s mind to be able to visualize what change she desires to make through this platform. 

What we followed was to properly understand what are the non-negotiable aspects she is attached to in her idea. Having that cleared out, we know beforehand what pillars we are building on. Moreover, that’s what are we going to test with the experts and later on with the audience. 

What were the key takeaways?

  1. Video is a priority (in these times, we couldn’t argue)
  2. The local aspect is of the essence
  3. The community aspect is key 

What are those non-negotiable aspects? 

The ultimate goal of this platform is to ignite effective sustainability action by building awareness of local ecosystems.


Through spreading sustainability initiatives created by the local community. 

What types of sustainability-related initiatives? 

Around pressing issues in local ecosystems. 

How can I, as a member of the community create sustainable actionable solutions?

emu creates space for active informing through audio-visual media means

More precision was needed, and since we were all so action-oriented there’s one thing we had to do:

Break that big goal down into smaller goals

Well, rumor says ‘only time will tell’ but we say - adaptable actions and perspectives might have something to do with changing that. 

This is why this moment was the perfect moment to set some measurable goals.

This is why here is essential to have in mind while setting your business goals:

(or any other goal really)

1. Numbers - what would be a good number that will feel like you made it?

Don’t know what numbers look like success? 

Here are some tips:

+ Ask the right questions in terms of measurement

Having a business-minded/oriented person to ask the right questions will keep you focused on what success means to you in the long run.

‘What’s the minimum effort to be returned from the audience to make sense that this is a product that they want to integrate into their lives?’
‘How can we measure real effort? What actions can we count on to understand their dedication or their blockers?’ 

+ Get good at making assumptions 

Rough estimates might vary, you might get it wrong and overdo it massively one way or another. You don’t know until you try. Also, it’s pretty simple mathematics - but with a vision in mind. 

Start calculating from the days within the goal: for example - in the 1-year goal there are 365 days, 12 months, 52 weeks, etc. 

‘How many actions per week should one person do to justify its interest?’ 
‘How many people should be active in that way to justify its local aspect within the first year?’

Correlate the actions you want to measure with the scope of the platform/app. 

For emu what was relevant to test in order to validate through the minimum effort was to have at least 24 community spread sustainability initiatives around pressing issues in local ecosystems. 

2. Keep yourself in line by asking the right questions

Here’s also where the Deciders come into play massively. In a design sprint framework, there needs to be at least one of them - in this case, it was Pilar. Alongside her, it was Catalin Briciu, our super sharp Co-CEO. Their tasks were to follow the main idea that can be validated in this phase. 

Remember, you will not be able to test a full-featured application. And that’s really not the point at all. That’s exactly what we are covering in the latest whitepaper on Product Development. 

Why would you jump and invest all your resources in trying to develop a perfect product that you’re not sure the market wants? 

After setting your long-term goal, go on and pin down the sprint question that can make or break your assumptions regarding the product’s success on the market. 

For Pilar and emu, the long-term goal is for people to share their local sustainability-related actions, initiatives, products, and services on the app. Thus, the questions we had to always get back to it was: 

‘What will make people share their input on this platform and not any other?’

What are we mapping?

Now that you have become familiar with emu's mapping, it's your time to gain more clarity on how to map your product.

User Journey Mapping is a common Design Sprint method that maps out a user's experience step by step as they encounter your problem space or interact with your product.’

We’ll talk more about the fine-tuning of this aspect in a future article.

Where to start?

Once again - through the power of well-thought-out questions - start with ‘Who does what?’

  • What type of audience do you want to attract to match the profile of your app? 
  • What are the roles of the people joining your app/platform?
  • Depending on the role they embody within the universe of the app, what are the logical steps they would like to take in the app?

Once you map this out, you get a better understanding of what a prototype can look like, flow-wise. 

It’s time to decide who are the actors and which are their possible actions. This will define your first version of the app. 

Once you manage to wrap your head around what you can do, for whom exactly, and what’s the ideal minimum that can be achieved in this iteration - your sprint’s prototype becomes more clear. To yourself, to your team, and later on to the audience. 

For emu, what was relevant in constructing the internal network roles that could support each other in having an active app was to determine and better define the personas of who would be the ones who create content, and who would curate the content (we’ll discuss the how in an upcoming article), and who would simply engage with the content. 

Get ready for jumping into the second part of day one.

Up next, we are asking the experts. Assumptions might get hurt.

This is a series of articles that will disclose how the whole process went with Pilar Piana, the winner of our Validation Sprint giveaway.

Read the first article | Follow Pilar on LinkedIn | Subscribe to her Youtube channel | Discover more about emu

Check the reels from this Design Sprint

Want to be ahead of any of your possible competitors' product development?
Among our weekly articles on this topic, Linnify has your back when you're creating products that dare to change the way people experience life. Catalin Briciu and Andreea Ghic have put together The essential guide for any rising entrepreneur who wants to future-proof their idea and investments. Download this white paper and gain advantage and step ahead of the vast majority of entrepreneurs who, in 2022, still do not validate their idea in the market before investing it all in.

Be bold enough to make the step that can amplify your product's success before investing.


design sprint;validation;sustainability;product development


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Teodora Istrati

Teodora Istrati is a talented and profound marketer with a remarkable passion for storytelling. She has established herself as an invaluable asset in Linnify's content creation and editorial support.

Over the past two years alone, she has contributed significantly to more than 40 articles, covering a diverse range of topics including product development, the future of work, idea validation, design, and captivating interviews that explored and showcased the experiences of individuals within organizations. Her approach to content creation is nothing short of soulful, as she strives to connect with the core of an author's ideas and deliver them to the audience in a profound and engaging manner.

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