EX01 - Kickoff

Putting the design process in motion

Successful product designers do their homework, focus on the user, and avoid taking shortcuts. It's the only creative exercise that involves risk minimization.

Updated April 30, 2020

Pushing new work into the world is exciting.

Over the past 20 years, the cost of creating and releasing new ideas has become incredibly cheap.

Grammy award winners record hit records in their bedrooms. Entire films recorded with only smartphones. College dropouts created some of the world's most transformative media platforms with simple, everyday computers. Many companies have even ditched the traditional office altogether (after COVID-19, it's questionable how many ever go back).

The tools are plentiful, and the actual dollar cost is low, why aren't we just building every idea that comes to mind and releasing it?

The answer is simple — opportunity cost.

The time spent working on anything is time not spent working on something else. While we might be able to lower the cost of creating and releasing ideas into the world, we can't create time.

Minimization of lost time is why a structured process is essential to businesses and public services. Rather than slowing down production, having a process helps you eliminate mistakes by refining your work along the way.

Isn't that more logical than building what we want and hoping people like it?

On this project, you're responsible for everything (no pressure). Would you ever carry a project by yourself from beginning to end? Only if you're a solo entrepreneur or freelancer. Otherwise, you'll likely work on a portion of the process for a given project. That doesn't mean that you won't benefit from having hands-on experience with each step of the process.

This project provides an experience that allows you to see how the process works as a whole — UX and UI together. You'll generate questions that are impossible to think of when working through individual exercises, and nothing changes your perspective on a design task like candid feedback from a user.

In "You're My Favorite Client," design author Mike Monterio said, "For design to be truly great, you need to build it into your projects from conception."

He's right, and the moment he's focusing on is where you happen to be right now — project conception.

So with that — jump into the research phase and uncover how a pandemic changed your local grocery store.


Up next Fresh Market: Observational Research

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