Designers are always searching for that magic process that will get them the job of their dreams and cause perfect products to spew forth from their fingertips like unicorn sprinkles.
Whether you work in an Agile startup or a Fortune 500 behemoth, here’s the secret killer process in 30 simple steps:
find out why this and why now?
start with user needs
assume that we’re wrong about a bunch of stuff
do things to find out where and how we’re wrong
set up the tightest feedback loop directly with customers/users that we can sustain
get started trying things using conversations, phone calls, emails, and laborious manual processes
be surprised and change things
spend ages building and rebuilding shared understanding
fill up with inspiration and sketch out dozens of other routes
challenge our assumptions
keep iterating as long as we can
get real customers as soon as we can
realise that a bunch of stuff you care loads about doesn’t really matter
work small: cut things down to the bare minimum
then throw it all away and build it again (once to learn, once to earn)
question everything we believed about the universe
zoom out wide and zoom in super detailed
focus on the core learning loop for the user for much longer than feels comfortable
realise that our customers are even more different than we thought
reassess where we are, where we’re trying to go, and what the next tiny step towards that is … again and again
start with the most complex and the riskiest stuff — never the obvious stuff
go back to the user need — how might we meet that more easily? Without tech? How are they meeting it now?
realise none of this list is a linear process — we have to jump around
do user story mapping with the team
find the “aha” moment and get there faster
draw more things on paper
spot the real crux of everything was right there in the first set of interviews hidden in plain sight by our own cognitive dissonance
tell the story of the experience
rewrite the copy
maybe open Figma?
The real “killer process” secret is this: there is no “killer process” secret.
If there is a secret, it’s simply this: