Holistic Approach to Product Design

This framework is comprised of 5 phases; scope, research, design, handoff, and measure. Each phase contains 3 internal components; prompts, outputs, and outcome.

Definitions

Prompts

Questions that engage and spur the designer into action. Prompts can also be used to get more information from a product manager, client or stakeholder.

Outputs

The tangible results or artifacts created from prompts.

Outcomes

A result that should answer the most important question and achieve the goal of the phase.

Phase 1: Scope

Prompts

Outputs

A shared project document for the team containing problem definitions, project goals, measurement criteria, and timeline User stories that identify what tasks need to be completed for project completion.

Outcome

A documented and shared understanding between all project team members and stakeholders identifying what the project scope is. Note: The scope may change depending on external factors but any changes should be communicated with the entire team.

Phase 2: Research

Prompts

Does any research currently exist that the product designer can rely on to inform their work? Note: Research can also be extracted from internal data sources like customer support conversations, previous team research, or documentation. Does any new research need to be conducted? Note: Investing time and resources into new research should produce a significantly better outcome for the project

Does the team need any new tools to be to conduct their research? New tools like session recording, user testing, and surveys should be considered if not already put into place.

Outputs

Outcome

Insights and information that create a clearer and more informed path forward for the design phase of the project. Research should be captured and distilled into project documentation.

Phase 3: Design

Prompts

Interaction Design

What is the customer journey? Can we use existing interaction patterns or do we need to design new behaviors for product or feature?

Visual Design

Is the visual design inline with the current brand style? Is there an existing design system with components or patterns that can be reused for product or feature? Does visual design look and feel consistent with the current brand?

Testing

Outputs

Whiteboarding

Often getting the project team together in person around a whiteboard to brainstorm ideas can improve communication and answer questions more efficiently. Whiteboarding sessions should be recorded, documented, and shared with the entire team as reference material.

Flow Diagrams

Flow diagrams will explain the customer journey through the product or feature visually and comprehensively.

Copywriting

Content can be written or provided for certain portions of the user interface. Any new content should be shared with the entire project team.

Wireframes

Wireframes to give design guidance as well as identify required user interface elements for final visual design.

Prototypes

In certain cases a prototype should be built to communicate more complex interactions or behaviors. This will provide the engineering team guidance as to what is expected. High Fidelity Mockups - High fidelity mockups should provide a visual static reference of what end product will look like.

Outcome

The design phase outcome should produce artifacts which provide sufficient guidance for engineering to move forward as well as provide reference material to product managers or stakeholders.

Phase 4: Handoff

Prompts

Outputs

Outcome

The project team has a clear understanding of design and expectations around customer experience.

Phase 5: Measure

Prompts

Outputs

Outputs

The measurement phase outcome should give all project team members an understanding as to whether or not the product or feature met the goal solved the problem that was documented in Phase 1.