Design Process & Principles

Clients coming to Vectyr are often at different stages of progress when it comes to their products. Some are starting from pure scratch and have done little research and have little understanding of what they want or need.

Others have existing products that have been live for years but are either dated or not performing the way that they should in terms of engagement.

When it comes to solving these problems we start at the most logical place: the beginning.

Strategy & Scope

Our first priority is to gain understanding by answering two critical questions:

  • What should the product accomplish for the organization?
  • What do our users want to hire this product to do?

The answer to the first question will describe the organization’s internal objectives. The answer to the second question describes the objectives imposed on the product from the outside.

When we seek to build a product we are operating on some key assumptions. Have these assumptions been validated? If not, we must seek to validate them by discovering if the idea of the product is:

  • Innovative: has this been done before or does it already exist?
  • Feasible: can the product be built under the time and budget constraints?
  • Desirable: does this matter to users and will they want it?
  • Sustainable: can this grow and is there a plan to support for that growth?

We review the competition and discover why users go to those products. What are users asking for or complaining about the most? How is your product going to be different?

Next, we take what we have learned and transform the strategy into a set of requirements. What features will the product need to include?

We list out all possible features that the product could include if budget and time were not an issue. Then we narrow the scope to identify which of those ideas will be part of our MVP (minimum viable product) and which features we will add in iterations after launch.

Defining Scope allows us to avoid delays, hit deadlines, stay on budget, and put a working product in front of the user as quickly as possible. Then we can get feedback, fix, bugs, and perfect the core functionality of the product.

Structure & Wireframing

We are ready to give shape to Scope and plan how the pieces of the product will fit together and behave.

Information Architecture encompasses how content is organized and prioritized. It should enable the user to move through the content efficiently and effectively and be flexible enough to accommodate growth and adapt to change.

We create a product map that defines what pages need to exist and what users are able to do there.

We now make the structure concrete by defining what components will enable people to use the product. This is where we begin to create wireframes, often interactive, that will allow us to test how users navigate the product and identify any friction or pain points.

The wireframe is the skeleton of the product and shows the priority and organization of elements on the screen. It defines how users will navigate and interact with the information provided.

We utilize established conventions to take advantage of existing habits that the users already possess. Divergence from established contentions should only be done when there is a clear benefit from doing so.

The final version of the product may not look exactly like the wireframe any more than a living person resembles a human skeleton.

Design & Development

It is now time to determine what the finished product will look like. We begin with creating a StyleScape that captures and conveys the look and feel of the product, fonts, imagery, and design elements.

A StyleScape can be created rapidly and helps determine if the style is going to be appropriate and engaging for the users and compliment the company’s branding.

The product MVP will then be constructed according to the information gathered and tested with real users so that we can measure the effectiveness of what we have created.

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