Here's a brief overview of my design process. It's by no means exhaustive and it's flexible.
Discovery refers to the activities required to determine if and why a product should be developed. Carrying out this work makes it more likely to create a product users actually want and need.
By speaking to stakeholders, analysing data, and researching we can inform the next stage.
The key questions at this stage are as follows.
- What do we want to do?
- Who are we doing it for?
- What business goals are we meeting?
- What business metrics are important?
- What technical restrictions do we have?
- How much time do we have?
And activities that take place include.
- Data Analysis
- Competitor Analysis
- Focus Groups
- User Interviews
Define the Problem
If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.
A well defined problem often contains its own solution, and that solution is usually quite obvious. By defining problems, you make them easier to solve, which means saving time, money and resources.
We can define the problem using the following techniques.
- Insights prioritisation
- Card Sorting
- Affinity mapping
- Problem Statement
- Value proposition
- "How Might We" questions
We can better understand our users goals through these activities.
- Empathy map
- User journey
- User Stories
Wait, is ideate a real word? I hear you say. Yes, the cambridge dictionary defines it as...
...to think of an idea or ideas, to form an idea of a particular thing
Coming up with ideas can be hard, but there are many ways to spark creativity in teams. Workshops in the following are a great place to start.
- Playing 6 to 1
- Crazy 8s
- Round Robin
- Why - How Laddering
Delve into the data to unearth areas of opportunity with benchmarking.
We can create representations of a users thought process with mind maps, and affinity maps. These help to create empathy for our users.
A prototype is an early sample, model, or release of a product built to test a concept or process.
As with any design this starts off as a wireframe, and evolves into an interactive simulation of the product.
Some popular tools designers can use to do this, such as Invision, Figma, and Adobe XD.
Prototypes are often best designed in grey scale to allow everyone to focus on the content, and not get wrapped up in aesthetics.
Once a prototype works, iterating the finer details can begin, this will include things like.
- Copy writing
- Micro Interactions
Involve your users in this process by running usability testing sessions with the prototype. If it's not right, now is the best time to make the changes needed.
When we've fine tuned our prototype it's time to turn it into a functioning product. We need to make sure it solves the problem we defined outside of laboratory conditions.
To do this we can run usability testing as before and can also include shadowing.
If our testing solves the problem we've defined, then we get approval for our solution by analysing data.
In software, this would generally take the form of an A/B test to a controlled share of traffic.
When you've solved the problem, and backed that up with data and/or positive feedback from usability testing. You've done your job.
Your team should ship your solution and celebrate! 🎉