This page shows my recommended process before designing a successful product.
Step 1: Problem and Vision
Before I can design a product or feature I must determine what problem I’m trying to solve to give me a clear understanding of what I’m designing for the product owner. I usually ask the stakeholders or product owners these questions:
What problem are we solving?
Who has this problem?
What are we trying to achieve?
Once we determined the problems, we can start defining product vision. Each product needs a vision to set the direction and guide the product team towards what the product is trying to achieve. Vision helps build a common understanding of what I’m trying to design here and why. Understanding the boundaries of our solution will help me stay focused when designing a product.
Step 2: Research
The research phase is one of the most important steps in product design. Understanding who we are designing this product for helps me empathize with the users and understand their pain points so I can craft the best product to help solve their problems. The best way to empathize with the user is to learn about the users for whom I’m designing for. Conducting user research like interviews, surveys, and field studies will help develop a deeper understanding of the users and place me in their shoe.
Doing a competitive analysis is a big part of the process of the research phase as well. Understanding whats out I’m market that is trying to solve the same problem is very important. Taking notes of what they do well, what they don’t do well, and what not to do. Creating a matrix sheet with all the competitors listed out with the features they have will help me and the product owner understand what we need in our product that everyone else is doing in the market. The Ultimate goal is to design a solution that has a competitive advantage.
Step 3: Analysis
After research, we must synthesize all the collected data to make sense of it. The goal of this phase is to create insights from the data collected from the research phase. Documenting what the users want, think or need can help me and other designers understand why the users would use the product that we are building.
From the research results, we can identify key user groups and create personas to represent each group. Creating personas will help us define the different user types that may use the product in a similar way. The purpose of this is to create reliable and realistic representations of the key users for reference. Once determined, the personas will help the team understand the users’ goals in context.
Step 4: Design
This process if my favorite process, the design process! This process usually starts off with a brainstorming or design session to generate ideas but also to confirm our design assumptions are valid. The design process usually includes creating these artifacts:
User Journey Map
Low fidelity Wireframing
High fidelity Mockups
Step 5: Testing
The testing process helps me validate my designs are working as intended. Using the prototypes that I or my team created during the design process will help us refine our designs based off of users’ usage, behavior, and feedback of the product. Giving the users scenarios and certain task to accomplish will help us validate the product’s usability. Also setting up A/B testing will help us validate different designs that are trying to solve the same problem.
Step 6: Handoff
After testing and iterating on our designs to the best that we can base off of testers’ feedback, I hand off the designs to the development team with these documents:
Every components documented in a design system
Document for design behaviors and intentions
The designs uploaded in a development inspection tool to grab specs on design and assets
A click through prototype of every tappable area on the design