It’s unsettling how frequently we are approached by clients who have been lead astray on their quest to build and launch a digital product.
From the dramatic explosion of web in the dot com era, through to the Apple inspired app age, right up to today’s fully digital realm – business people have been driven like never before to “do this digital thing”. This spike in demand resulted in a type of gold rush, igniting the uptake in the programming profession and increasing the output of digital products.
Unfortunately, not all programmers are great nor valuable digital products a certainty – meaning a lot of broken experiences and wasted digital projects.
Fortunately, however, for our clients who were misled, we’ve gotten really good at taking these projects and turning ’em into something great.
From Waste to Wonderful. How we redesign for business success.
1. Understand Why.
If you read my blog posts often, you’ll probably think I sound like a broken record. But it’s absolutely no bloody coincidence that I talk about this every time – because it’s just THAT IMPORTANT.
I have no doubt that every project/product/service emerged from some basic need/problem. It’s just so easy to lose trace of that reason why – the fatal trap that all of the redesign projects we undertake have fallen into.
That’s why we start of with a redefinition of meaning. We conduct a collaborative workshop with the client where we tease out the reason WHY they began this project. This process aligns us with the client, helping us understand what the correct path forward is to turning the project around.
2. Identify where it went wrong.
I know it hurts to look back on a broken past… but it’s important to learn from failures. Further to that, in a lot of cases, the broken solution our client has come to us to solve wasn’t so badly broken. It’s value was just hidden by a few glaring errors. That’s why we use Design Thinking tools (our favourite for this is The Speedboat exercise) to uncover what those errors – the pain points – were in the original solution. Read more about this here.
The outcome should be a list of functional requirements that are vital to success.
3. Rewrite the story.
With our understanding of WHY clear and a list of pain points identified it’s time to revitalise this product.
Every successful product starts with a good story.
We use our user persona to step through the complete experience, defining the touchpoints (existing and new) necessary for realising the product envisioned by our client.
We build out the storyboard with our user always in mind. What are the little things that need to happen to complete the circle (often these are the little things that make the difference between a failed product and a brilliant one).
Here’s what a detailed storyboard from a recent project looks like:
4. Present & Iterate
Our first test is with the client. We test by presenting our user story to them. In this moment we are able to validate our design and iterate on some of the elements that may still be missing.
Our preferred method is a whiteboard with a low-fed storyboard written up. This gives us the chance to involve the client in making on-the-spot changes.
5. Design & Test
We then create a high-fed prototype. With all of the pages/features built out, we then get the redesign into the hands of end users. Extra insights we find are easily implemented at this stage.
Only with all of these steps done do we finally begin building the product. This is the key to success.
Here are some screens from a recent redesign… can’t give too much away but I think the difference is plain to see 🙂