In this article, we share our product design methodology. This simple yet highly effective approach allows us at Pitango UX to constantly provide our clients with outstanding products and remarkable results.
Onboarding- allocating the right people for the job
Our process begins with the onboarding phase as we define together with our client his needs and the process’s goals. What kind of products does he want to design, and on what schedule? Aligning these expectations helps us match the dedicated work team to the client’s specific domain. At this stage, the client acknowledges that the professionals who will work with him are experts in his industry; these people are dedicated and experienced.
We believe in accumulated knowledge & experience at Pitangoux. Therefore allocating a full team that will manage the project includes researchers, UX consultants and UI designers, and a senior UX professional to overview and supervise the process.
A workshop of several hours is conducted during the discovery stage for all stakeholders to brainstorm all project elements. After this session, all the team members will gather a clear vision and understanding of the various aspects of the future product. Example of questions asked during the kickoff meeting: What is the purpose of a particular product or feature?
- What is the need or an issue that it is supposed to address?
- What is the expected demand, and who is the audience?
- Are we improving an existing product or creating a new one?
These are just some of the questions answering which we will be able to promptly and efficiently determine the most suitable strategy for your case. Identifying the client’s “pain points” is another important aspect of asking these questions. These are the underlying causes of the setback. Whether it is a lack of professional skills, budget limitations, or time, we need to have a clear vision of the value we can provide to our client.
We learn and take inspiration from our direct and indirect competitors. Often our competitors face the same challenges as we are, while conducting a competitive analysis may provide us with necessary insights regarding design patterns, specific industry standards, and different approaches to the same issue. We want to learn from and get inspired by industry standards and opinion leaders’ products.
Providing our services to diverse portfolios and industries over the years is one of our significant advantages as a large-scale UX agency. As our experts analyze different verticals (industries with shared characteristics such as Gaming, Fintech, Medical, etc.), they can easily adjust a particular solution applied in one case to address an issue at a completely different vertical. The assortment of portfolios, flexible thinking, and accumulated experience are one of Pitago UX’s primary assets.
Another element of the research is the investigating & defining User Persona. We are looking for the most profound perception of who is the user of the product and how does its user journey look like right now. Before we make any conclusions, our multidisciplinary team of experts must identify the goals and motivations of future users and their expectations of the product. That can be done using several tools, including interviews, surveys, contextual inquiries, etc. Wisely applying these tools will help us formulate reliable representations of the critical audience segments when empathizing with our users.
Moreover, “Heatmap analyses,” for instance, provide us with essential data to assess the different aspects of user behavior while using our product. We will later apply this data to the ideation and execution phases.
User flow and Data Architecture: This is a web platform, app, or product structure. Using this tool, such as a UX canvas, users can understand where they are and where the information they need is relative to their current position. A navigation system, hierarchical structure, and categorization system are created as part of the IA building process.
Information architecture, for instance, refers to designing a blueprint that helps users better understand where they are on a website. The user experience will also be impacted by how we arrange our product’s features, functions, and available data.
Visualizing user’s journey: The ideal user experience and interaction with the future product are graphically described in this step. It provides a holistic user experience vision, ensuring its consistency and fluidity. In addition, the user journey also serves as the basis for defining the product specifications and requirements. The customer/user journey can differ from product to product, but most user journeys have three phases: Onboarding/registration, First time experience, and daily use/retention.
This is when the future product’s skeleton is created. Our team will create a visual guide representing the structure, the hierarchy, the interactions, and the critical elements of the product. This is also an excellent opportunity to address and tackle upcoming challenges and ideas with team members and stakeholders to ensure interface usability and reduce design time by baselining the core information architecture.
Graphical Concept – defining the user experienceBy this point, we have a clear concept of what we must do to successfully design the product, our strategy, and how to prioritize. The design team is ready to start building the product now that they know what needs to be done. You, as the client, will review our progress and choose the desirable wireframe to proceed with.
Concept Meeting: Setting the baseline for designing the graphic interface, including color palette, fonts, images, input fields, and buttons. This step ensures visual consistency throughout the application by establishing a baseline for the various graphic interface elements.
User Interface Design: UI Design
Once the graphical concept is chosen, the style guide is applied based on the wireframes to create the end-looking screens. GUIs provide the final aspect of the product’s screens to our client for approval before implementation.
The best way to experience the product before we develop it is to create a Prototype.
The prototype will allow all stakeholders of the product to examine & evaluate it from different perspectives.. Often, prototypes begin with a few core parts (usually crucial user flow) and expand as necessary over multiple iterations until all required areas have been covered. Prototyping facilitates feedback collection from stakeholders, potential users, and investors.
Product managers and entrepreneurs also use this tool as a fundraising tool and in front of other stakeholders to familiarize them with the usability of the tool or application.
This is a more formal process we use with some of our clients; We take the various screens to potential customers and people from within the company and show them the prototype to identify whether the product can be used efficiently and entirely as we researched. We can draw many conclusions from this stage on success indicators such as dwell times, percentage of abandoning the product, etc.
Handover to R&D
It is time to release the design to the R&D for its final iteration. Again, the designer will provide detailed specifications describing precisely what needs to be done.
At this stage, we transfer the prototype to development. This is critical for completing the process, and communication is crucial here. We involve the customer here to facilitate the final development process of the product. Sometimes, we add a final stage of Design QA, during which the original design is examined and compared to the final development to check that no elements were left out during the product’s development phase.
A prototype handoff doesn’t mean the job is done and the product design process is over. On the contrary, testing and designing should be an ongoing, repetitive process.
I greatly recommend Pitango UX as the first choice for your next business endeavor. Our vast experience working with multiple industries, our outstanding team of professionals, and our uncompromising standards for product design and user experience optimization will bring you the desired success!
The product design methodology we shared with you is a proven path for planning & designing complex platforms and apps. Follow those steps and experience success. This is our product design methodology – a complete and efficient way to give the client the best product possible. This is a part of our Pitango UX San Francisco and UX California updates; sign up for our newsletter to get biweekly updates.