The fast approach to get done small product designing projects

I am willing to show the process by example.

Ordinarily, working on the products required conducting deep researches. Regardless of what is your product and industry, you have to do the researches to know your Market, business requirements, and audiences.

On the other hand, running a research process, take time and needs some budget. It’s very common that the early-stage startups and young products strive to cut the cost and one of their principal objectives is going to the market as fast as possible; It’s why they rather find the shortcuts.

In this article, I’ve focused on the shortcuts that enable you to deliver your outcomes without executing time-consuming/Costly steps in your process. ‌

Make the project definition clear

Designing a responsive chat service, to be used by a space agency. I gonna Explain the design process, proof of the decisions, and specify my approach for further improvement.

Specify your designing process

Designing a product means moving forward throughout iterations. The five major parts of the designing cycle that specified in the following consist of some items. Each item would be considered a necessary/recommended task. The process steps and their included tasks depend on the company situation, your product and team maturity, your priorities, etc.
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Business Goals

After determining the designing process and your workflow, focused on the business goals of the project. Think about the main purpose of your project and the company intentions and the stakeholder’s expectation.

The user goals

There are three goals we could consider for the audiences for using such a service:

  • The messaging service should enable the user to send and receive any work-related media and documents.
  • As a user, I need to have a secure messaging service with a high level of engagement.
  • It would be easy to integrate with other corporational tools.

I strongly believe in user research as an essential step that every designer should invest in before conceptualizing ideas for solving a problem. There are several ways (qualitative and quantitative researches) to study the user’s attitude and behavior that all of them aimed to make the following aspects clear:

Its time to working on the user persona;

Each product might have some different user personas. The proper user persona document can show all the major answers about a specific type of user in one document.

Be aware that most of the time you have more than one persona type and the weight and your user personas are different.

Beyond the characteristics and details of each persona, you should consider what persona type would be more effective for the business, think about what type will have more share of audiences.

How to Getting to Know the Market?

Generally, having a good understanding of the market required deep researches about the following matters:

  • Predictions about potential users/ new regions and new needs.
  • History of accomplishments, and failures of market leaders.
  • Market leaders and their market share per region.
  • Market leader’s value propositions.
  • Filed of the competition.

There are lots of different methods that will be useful to get to know about the market stipulation and trends. for example;

  • Running surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Interviews
  • Benchmark
  • User feedback reviews …

If you have no time, stick to the benchmarking and try to compare the opponents based on their pros and cons. You have to understand how the market leaders got their share of the market and what is their drivers.

Also, diving deep into competitors’ user feedbacks, and scrolling the community and social networks pages, gives you a solid understanding of the most common user pain points. It’s a low-cost solution that will bring some raw ideas about what the customers already looking for to you.

Try to find out your potential costumers

  • Nasa
  • SpaceX
  • Blue origin
  • European Space Agency
  • ROSCOSMOS

General competitors

Choose a proper name for the project:

Before choosing a name for your project you should get inspired by relevant materials.

We all know that a mood board is a type of visual presentation or ‘collage’ consisting of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition. It can be based on a set topic or can be any material chosen at random. A mood board can be used to convey a general idea or feeling about a particular topic.

Using a mood board might be very useful for collecting tokens and keywords that cross your mind when you thinking about your project. Just conduct a brainstorming session and talk about the relevant subjects and topics to the project.

Design Materials

Based on the scale of the product /project you working on, you should invest in the design infrastructure. The outcome can be a kind of style guide, a library of components, or a design system.

What items should be considered for creating a design system?

  • Company core values
  • User persona
  • Industry and market trends
  • Product Positioning
  • Company mission and vision
  • Brand identity

The main reason for having such things is accelerating the design and development cycle and being consistent and purposeful toward what you expect from your product interface to show about the company core values and Vision. It’s a different fiction but at least we have spent our time on Typography, color palette, spacing, and iconography.

It would be a minimum level of investment in design infrastructure to being more consistent and purposeful.

The main reason for having such things is accelerating the design and development cycle and being consistent and purposeful toward what you expect from your product interface to show about the company core values and Vision.

Typography:

Barlow is a slightly rounded, low-contrast, Grotesk-type family. Drawing from the visual style of the California public, Barlow shares qualities with the state’s car plates, highway signs, busses, and trains.

This is the Condensed family, which is part of the superfamily along with Normal and Semi Condensed, each with 9 weights in Roman and Italic.

Source:
https://fonts.google.com/specimen/Barlow+Condensed?query=barlow+con&preview.text_type=custom#standard-styles

Iconography:

handpicked icons from Feathericons (free icon set) with a little bit of customization.

Source:
https://feathericons.com/

Spacing:

The spacing is a very deep and exciting topic, there is lots of different approach and principles, but at the moment we are looking to shortcuts, and the shortcut supposed to be simple and easy to apply.

The sequence of multiples of 4
4 < 8 < 12 < 16 < 20 < 24 < 28 < 32 …

We’re ready so let’s get into the interface design

I’ve always considered 3 main steps in interface design:

1) First: Wireframing

Before taking time to work on details make sure all stakeholders are on the same page about your idea and your blueprint can demonstrate a true concept to fulfill the business need and satisfy your audiences.

2) Second: High-fidelity design

Apply your style guide and design different conditions of the interface, including empty states, vertical and horizontal scrolls, try to simulate real content, and present your design with realistic aspects of using your product.

3) Third: Prototyping

Add the user flow and navigation between pages and consider the interactions, show how your design would interact with the user in return for user gestures and actions.

1) First: Wireframing

Don't forget to pay attention to the mobile-first designing approach.

Try to make your wireframes understandable by adding some essential information.

2) Second: High-fidelity design

Align your design with the guide and columns responsive layouts.

Using Mockups to provide the actual look and feel of the final result before starting development.

3) Third: Interactive prototype

I invite you to take a look at the interactive prototype of our sample project on both mobile and desktop versions.

How to test the design?

Testing and gathering feedback is an on-going process that would never stop. Before initializing the idea until rolling out the product into the market, you need to align your mindset and your working result with actual feedbacks of the audiences that you are designing for.

In this case, when you have a high-fidelity design, the following methods are highly recommended:

  • Usability test on an interactive prototype or development result.
  • A/B test A/B test to make sure about feature validity.
  • Survey Feedback gathering from early adopters.

Evaluation:

What metrics would be fine to track?

Defining the proper KPI’s and implementing them in the development cycle is necessary to collect useful information.

Final World

Good to mention that there is no exact roadmap to conduct all types of designing projects, but more or less you will find your approach. Because the best approach depends on your decision and every corner of the project that you are involved in. In this article, I just tried to share my knowledge and I hope you find it useful.

Best,
H. Kolbadi Nezhad

#Product_designer. BIG fan of design, Keen on solving problems, The one who never runs away from a challenge.