When it comes to solving a problem for your customers, it’s important we work together by combining our product delivery expertise with your understanding of the customers and market.
The first step in the design process is to start generating ideas, and the easiest way to do that is by sketching them in a collaborative session. We’re not talking about detailed drawings here, but very quick, rough wireframes. The rougher the better as there’s less attachment from the sketcher. This also means that there’s a low barrier to entry: anyone can do it.
the building blocks of our wireframes
TIP: We use a trick from the Sprint Book called ‘crazy eights’ which involves folding paper into 8 or 6 sections to sketch out ideas. The aim is to get everyone to sketch more than one solution for the opportunity by encouraging people to think outside the box.
At the beginning of a sketching session we review the user stories, research and any other information that supports what we are trying to achieve. We ask each person to sketch more than one idea because it encourages them to think beyond a fixed view of how something ‘should work’: it’s always the second and third ideas where creativity really starts to flow.
We’ll take it in turns to explain our ideas to the rest of the group and answer questions and then vote on our favourite elements, at which point it’s easy to spot the most popular solutions. These often come from different people so we may need to create a new wireframe, or explore more than one version.
voting on our sketches
The outcome of the sketching session is converted into a vanilla digital wireframe and shared with the group to ensure we’ve correctly interpreted what was agreed.
After tweaks we use InVision to create a clickable prototype which we take into user testing.
We validate our solution by running user testing sessions on a selection of end users. This step reduces the risk that we’ll build the wrong thing.
We create a test script using real life scenarios a user might encounter to see if they use the prototype in the way we expect. Observing them carrying out these tasks allows us to see any pain points and triggers a conversation for after the session.
TIP: One of us will tend to take notes whilst someone else is there to provide any support the user needs. Ideally the user can perform the tasks outlined in the test scenarios without any intervention but if they need help, that’s a sign we might need to discuss particular pain points and possibly adjust the user experience.
Following the session we make the necessary changes to the prototype and retest it. We may iterate over this process a few times to end up with a final solution but it’s time well spent: it’s significantly less effort than reworking software that’s already been built.
Once we’ve got a solution that we’re all happy with it’s time to work some creative magic into the product. This is where we go from a low fidelity prototype to something that really stands out in the market. Not only do we have a solution that meets your customers' needs and allows them to perform tasks easily, we now have a digital product that looks fantastic and stands out from the crowd.
feedback from the team
Andreas MeissenerProduct Owner
“We have really enjoyed being so closely involved in the sketching sessions of our product. It was an efficient way to decide on its future structure and design and eliminate the less favourable options. The wireframes helped us to visualise and perfect our vision. Thanks to the InVision application, we had a clickable prototype in our hands and were able to present it to all stakeholders long before our product was developed.”
Ryan HyslopFrontend Developer
“I find the sketching sessions incredibly beneficial as they’re a quick way for me to contribute my technical experience to a solution for a particular business opportunity. This means we can iron out any misconceptions and refine potentially technically challenging ideas into more efficient solutions. Most importantly, however, is the variation in ideas from people of different backgrounds and working together ensures everyone has a stake in the final output.”
“For me, the best part of the sketching sessions is the range of ideas that come from all of the people with different backgrounds. As we include frontend and backend developers, they can say straight away if what’s suggested is feasible, which means no time is ever wasted designing something that can’t be built. Having the client involved is great as it means they’re there from the very inception of any designs and makes the feedback loops and sign off much quicker.”
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