Product Designer / Creator.Val Mercenaro

Lead Developer.Richard Illescas



70%+ of product people’s time at work is spent on pointless discussions about features that are often useless or obsolete

Sprinto provides you with the framework to solve important design problems while connecting you with our network of innovative companies looking for pivotal problem solving design thinkers.

.THE Challenge

Building an authentic, impressive case studies’ portfolio is hard work, especially for a beginner UX designer

We need to build a web & mobile platform where:

– designers can learn how to solve real UX problems while companies can improve their user experience quick and efficiently

– provide design problem solvers to startups and businesses as they need them, without spending min 3000€ per 1 workshop

– give designers or people transitioning to product management one of the most powerful tool to win projects

– designers and product people will be able to finally close the gap between creative design and viable business solutions that work. That will raise their value exponentially.

Phase 1: Understanding

Deconstructing challenges into opportunities

.How Might We…

The HMW (How Might We) note taking method is commonly used in design thinking practices and it’s part of the «Understand» phase of a design challenge.

During this step, together with my remote team we defined the challenges related to our upcoming platform and reframed them into opportunities

Uxar Design Sprint, How Might We

(Remote drawing board for team collabs)

.Establishing Key Audiences

I have carried out a number of «lean interviews» to whom I believe to be the key audience for Uxar.io. The results did confirm most of the pain points I anticipated, plus various odds of course. I call them «Lean» simply because they took less time and energy than the usual user research, here’s how it went:

1. Created Google form with all the questions related to the industry issues I was experiencing on my own skin. That’s to be sure I wasn’t the only one frustrated by the challenge I wanted to solve

2. Sent the Google form to my network and used the same questions within the FB groups that allowed me to

3. Conversational type of interviews within the UX social groups environment

How Might We Single

(“How Might We” exercisise from my studio)

.Who Are The Users of Sprinto

Primary Audience – User Persona

Web/Graphic Designers transitioning to User Experience, UX students, Product Design students, UXers.

Secondary Audience – Buyer Persona

Companies that need to improve their UX, or with a pressing design challenge, and companies building new digital products.

.Mapping out The User Flow

She wants to become a Sprint Master

– So that she can be selected for more design sprints

– Discounts on software, affiliate apps
– € per approved solution
– Personal brand
– Chance to get hired full time
– Ultimately building the portfolio

.Mapping out The Buyer Flow

He wants to optimise the site’s marketing funnels

– The conversion rate is too low compared to the number of daily visitors
– He is offering digital services and his site does not reflect the quality of the service he provides

– He’s spending a lot on ads
– Competitors have a better conversion rate despite a lower quality of service

Phase 2: Sketching

Moving from abstraction to concrete ideas

.Competitive Landscape and Inspiration

I explored the competition and found really interesting business models and value propositions.

After attentive analysis and users interviews I have the proof that merging tools & resources, real customers projects, with a winning portfolio framework, a personal approach and a real UX team environment holds a great potential.

.Notes, Crazy 8s, Sketching Solutions

This is when all the ideas I collect with my team gets turned into building blocks for the final prototype.

I usually get inspired by other product designs, not necessarily within the same industry also (for example Tinder has been inspiring the «Swipe Right» action to «empower» Sprinto users to choose jobs).
It’s not a very «polished» type of work, as isn’t supposed to be so within a Design Sprint.

BitesizeUX Logo

Harness Logo

UXHack Logo

UXfolio Logo

RookieUp Logo

Beginex UX Logo

Phase 3: Decide.

Coming to a conclusion about the ideal user experience.


I create a user flow for each main goal defined during discovery/understanding phase. And that is done for each user persona too of course.

It’s the most exciting part of the design process as we get to see it all coming through in such a flawless way that makes you realize how mastering sprints is absolutely essential for design teams who want to quickly test a product idea.

Phase 4: Prototype

All my sketches, decisions and ideas come together into interactive prototypes.

I have never been attached to a particular tool before Adobe XD as I have always thought that, depending on the type of work, I’d have used a different type of tool. The one I used the most was Sketch, together with InVision to handoff the assets. Adobe XD makes me focus on the main functions and goals, and forget about decorations. That’s why it’s ideal for design sprints’ prototypes.

Phase 5: User Test & Learn

.Presenting the prototype to real life users

Ok so this is arguably the most important part of the sprint project, the user testing phase.
We have been gone through the ins and outs of the product to come, and this is when we will finally know if the design sprint had a good outcome or if we need to learn more about our user and their true needs.

For this specific project the user testing phase was/is quite interesting, considering that I am dealing with users which are already familiar with UX and the expectancies are quite high. But I dig hard knocks & challenges so, well, bring it on!! 😉

.How I Find Users for Testing

Again, it does depend on the industry of course. The method I have been using the most with my clients’ users is Facebook ads.

The ad goes out one week before and we spend about 20 to 30 euros on it, which is more than enough. Depending on the client budget, and other factors (like difficulty in finding the user), we advise the use of vouchers in exchange to the hour + dedication to Us!

Forums and Reddit are a great place to find users too.