Strategy mapping for startups

Role: Lead Designer at Mindiply

A tool to help startup founders visually map their strategy. Based on our own experience, it’s hard to step back and see the big picture when your working on the day to day hustle. This project aims to help others visualise their strategy to work on what’s most critical for their startups survival.

The product we built is called I Am Why and the product is live at:

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User Research

This project is based on over 10 in-depth user research interviews with startup founders and co-founders.

I led the user research: creating interview scripts, reaching out to people over LinkedIn by networking and using a screening questionnaire to identify which of our target segment most likely to experience the problems we were trying to learn about.


Analysis of User Research

We coded the transcripts of the user interviews to help identify useful themes. It enabled us to build diagrams of how each person engages with their strategy and their emotions with doing so.

We created a user flow (below) which encapsulates their digital, paper and mental models of strategy and their emotional response along the journey. We used this to understand how we might influence them and help them feel most in control of their strategy.

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Creating useful artefacts

From our user research I created two persona’s to keep our user needs in mind so we could make better decisions.

I led the team in adopting persona’s as a useful tool and getting them talked about in our meetings and making sure they were used to create a better product.


Solution Sketching

I led my team through a solution sketching workshop:

  • defining “How might we…?” questions to frame our thinking

  • doing the Design Sprint “Crazy 8” method of sketching out initial ideas

  • sketching out our favourite ideas in a three panel more detailed story board “Solution Sketch”

  • adding coloured stickers to the bits of the sketches you find valuable to form a “heat map” of bits you want to move forward on

  • creating an initial screen by screen user flow as a group to ensure we’re on the same page

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Creating a Testable Prototype

I very quickly mocked up a prototype we could test on users using Sketch and Invision. We ran a few scripted tests to check our target user understood and could access all of our features.

After making some adjustments we coded it in HTML and Javascript so we could run more flexible testing.


User Interface Design

Having validated we were on the right track, I took some time to refine the visual design to make it appeal to the professional audience we were targeting, including coordinating a freelance designer to work with me on the look and feel of the site.

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This project is live. Try it out now at