I approach every new challenge with an open mind and fresh eyes to understand problems and identify the opportunities. Each project starts with a planning phase. I listen, observe and learn then work with key stakeholders and team members to lay the foundations for the project. In my experience, it’s worth investing time and effort in the planning of a project to ensure things run smoothly in the later stages of the design process. The planning phase includes the following…
Before you can build anything, you need a strong foundation. Based on the Agile inception phase, I developed my own project inception process that has been used successfully as a discovery workshop exercise, setting the scene for the project and feeding into an initial product backlog. The outcome of this stage of the process is to identify business and user objectives, understand goals and risks, and to ensure that everyone begins the project with shared understanding, direction, and priority.
Project scope is the part of project planning that involves determining and documenting specific project goals, deliverables, features, functions, tasks, deadlines, and ultimately costs. In other words, it’s what needs to be achieved and the work that must be done to deliver a project. I’m comfortable working alone or alongside BA’s & Project Managers to define and capture the product and process requirements to ensure that everyone understands the requirements of the project and agrees upon exactly how the project’s goals will be met.
Before I start designing, I need to build up a picture of what the context for the product or service is. The research & analysis phase refines assumptions and fills in the blanks. It’s all about empathy; understanding the needs of your users, what services currently meet those needs and how are they performing? I perform competitor and market analysis and conduct customer surveys to really understand both the market and competition. If you have an existing product, reviewing analytics, heuristic evaluation, content strategy, product context, and user research can all provide valuable insight to inform the design phase.