The process of design-led development can vary, but generally it contains the same basic elements. Rather than getting a project team to speak to multiple stakeholders across various departments individually, at Nearform we use discovery workshops, which can condense the discovery period down to a much shorter time period and accelerate the time to impact.
Discovery workshops involve teams working to discover as much as possible about the aim of the project, the needs of the end user, the challenges involved in meeting them and other considerations. The more comprehensive the information surfaced at this stage, the more effective the team will be in optimising the time and budget available.
The organisation’s key stakeholders on the project and our paired team of a senior product designer and senior technical director work together to define the project objectives, strategy and vision.
We start by defining your product’s vision, gathering details about your team, users, strategy, goals, risk, milestones and other elements that will help determine success for you. Given that the purpose of your product is to satisfy your customers’ needs, we will build personas to model how the product will be used.
The team uses this research to define the project’s scope and requirements before launching directly into designing the product. That involves developing concepts that seek to solve the end user’s problems in the most effective way. We look at your competitors’ products and use a variety of prototyping tools to test just what a practical solution might look like.
Your team will contribute elements such as typography, colours, layout and flows while our engineers devise the best way to build the product. At this stage of the process, you can expect the prospective solution to undergo several refinements as it proceeds from prototype design to user testing and back again. User feedback is incorporated, and any kinks are resolved.
At the end of the workshop, clients have a roadmap for product design and development.
This roadmap is not simply an abstract set of recommendations; the discovery process delivers a comprehensive product prototype, a full architecture overview and a timeline of milestones to help clients measure their progress. The prototype and product roadmap generated give the development team the material required to launch directly into the project. The client is kept informed throughout, so they know exactly when they need to start preparing for launch.
This process gives us a deep understanding of how the product will perform, both for the customer and your business, with minimal capital investment. With ongoing analysis and retrospectives, we continue to refine our methodologies to investigate what worked well and what may not have been as successful.