Process Driven Design
The fundamentals of process driven design begin with planning. Earl-stage businesses often jump into solution-driven products and services prematurely. This simple 5-step checklist will guide your product and service development blueprint.
1. Define the opportunity
The Opportunity Statement is the starting point for design-driven products and services. That statement is the most important piece of information that you and your team should align on. The Opportunity Statement determines who we are designing for, what problem we are solving, and what we can improve as we solve the problem at hand. It is the beginning of the design thinking process. The process of writing a problem statement begins with questions.
Key questions to guide the development of your problem statement:
- What is the problem that requires a solution?
- Whose life are you trying to improve?
- The user struggles today because
- Solving this will be good for our business because
These questions should be discussed within your team and then validated through stakeholder interviews and end-user interviews. Early feedback will help you focus the problem statement and the solution design.
2. Validate the opportunity
Surveys are the most efficient method for validating an opportunity at a large scale. Once you have developed a clear problem statement you can validate the opportunity with a larger group. A simple survey can be shared among a larger group of users to validate the pain-points and the potential solutions that you are proposing. Short surveys can provide significant time and cost-savings during design and development phases. Our goal with each successive step is to further remove assumptions from our proposed solution.
3. Create a test
Prototype test hypothetical solutions in the real world. Effective prototypes don't require sophisticated design to communicate ideas.
- Paper prototypes are simple drawings that convey your intended solution and can be used a test prompt
- Chatbots and Natural Language UI's can be tested with scripted conversations
- Interactive prototypes are more complex and demonstrate "clickable" or "tappable" interactivity
Low-code platforms like Webflow are powerful solutions for non-technical product owners, founders and inventors that want to create deployable, reliable web applications and prototypes. Webflow is a compelling alternative to prototyping tools like InVision and Figma since it produces deployable code that can be used in future development.
4. Apply your findings
Invite end-users and stakeholders to test the prototype and provide feedback. These sessions should be recorded and facilitated either in person or over a video-call. Usability tests are most effective when they are based on a predetermined task that you ask your user to accomplish. Designing the usability test around a task will provide valuable data for you and your design team and reveal user frustrations and obstacles.
- After the testing phase is complete you will integrate the user-generated improvements back into the prototype and repeat the process
- Repeat this "test and learn" sequence until all of the major frustrations and obstacles are resolved
5. Invest in design
Visual and experience design should be framed as tools that help users navigate complex systems. Visual and experience design are more costly and should be applied after your prototype has been thoroughly tested. Final production-ready design will provide the visual language that technology teams integrate into the functional application, this process is designed to remove cost and complexity from development. The more time we invest in the thought-based activities early on, the more we will save later and throughout development.