Flash: Phase 3 - Design

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Determine product strategy and interaction model

The Design phase is where we start to craft solutions based on the insights we’ve derived so far. It is about taking our data informed assumptions, choosing a strategy, turning it into something tangible and testing it with users. We will also set up mechanisms to accelerate future learning. The main activities are outlined below.

1. Outline initial product strategy based on market/user research

We are now in a much better place to create a well educated strategy. It’s time to outline where we will focus and how your product will differentiate using the insights we have extracted from our research.

When formulating your strategy we use an ERRC grid. It’s a simple yet incredibly powerful tool that helps to support our decision making. To make everything easier to comprehend we also create a blue ocean strategy diagram. This is a great visual tool for our strategy that highlights the differences between your product and others in the market.

2. Conduct additional user interviews to test your strategic assumptions

Once we’ve formulated our strategy it’s time to check how this resonates with your target market. We might be beginning to understand their problems but we need to see how they respond to our approach to solving them.

We frame our questions so they are exploratory and not leading. We also avoid directly talking about your product through scenarios and probe further with a variety of product and habit based questions. If we feel like you’re struggling to get a response use exploratory techniques such as the 5 whys to push for more insights.

We are not afraid to make tweaks to our strategy based on the findings. While it’s important to follow your north star, how we get there depends on your users. We keep a lean mindset and avoid being overly ambitious with our initial offering.

3. Create a landing page to test your messaging and product offering

Focus now shifts to testing our offering with a new set of users. The likelihood is that our initial user research group will have been very friendly so it’s quite important to test your product with a wider audience. Landing pages are the perfect tool for this.

We are well positioned to create this page having already signed off your brand and product strategy. It’s now a case of translating both of those into an enticing product offering. For a standard landing page we prepare: a headline, tagline, 3 benefits, how it works and a data capture form.

As this page will be a focal point of future campaign tests we set up automation early on. We use MailChimp to help us with this. We use their API to pull through leads and sort them into the correct list. We also set up automated campaigns to help with communications and engagement.

4. Focus on your core product value and create a set of wireframes

While your landing page is being set up we use our user journey maps to start creating the product wireframes. These are created using a tool like Balsamiq and due to their low fidelity they’re great for quick discussions and updates. These dynamic conversations are at the heart of everything we do.

Wireframes can be addictive and it’s easy to get distracted with perfecting layouts and additional states. We avoid the temptation, stay focused and work on the core flows first. These offer the biggest opportunities to learn so the sooner we perform testing on them the lower the cost of regret will be.

We always think from your personas perspective and write down our thought process as we go to make group discussions more fruitful.

5. Decide on initial marketing channels and create/schedule campaigns

There are many marketing channels available to us but for the purpose of the programme we focus on web and/or social ads. We do this because they have a large reach, can be highly targeted, are usually relatively inexpensive and they are easier to track acquisition costs compared to traditional channels.

Consider which channels are best for your persona and review their guidelines as requirements will vary. We use consistent language that resonates with your users across your landing page and campaign to avoid incoherent messaging that can lead to high bounce rates.

Experimentation is key so we run broad as well as highly targeted ads. We want to see which demographic is most engaged with our offering and whether it is resonating as expected. When running multiple ads we make sure we only change one variable at a time to allow us to work out the impact of each change.

Next up is the Validate phase. Read about it here.