Flash: Phase 1 - Prepare

Get smarter at building businesses, one piece of content at a time. Stories to help you better prepare your business for success based on real life examples and learning.

Outline your thoughts and plan ahead for key tasks

As the saying goes, fail to prepare, prepare to fail. The Prepare phase is about setting the foundations for successful outcomes. We want to make sure that all involved are aligned around clear information and the items with a high dependency are ready to be worked on. The main activities are outlined below.

1. Explain your business succinctly for a clear focus

Summarising your business in a concise manner is fundamental to this process as it forces us to distil down to what really matters. At ucreate we have created our own canvas to help capture the information we see as being the most important for early stage ventures.

We prepare the points highlighted in the canvas as they help us focus on not only creating a business but also on creating a sustainable and scalable business. We promote research and documentation to back up decisions but aim to keep our points concise within this document to maximise its value to ourselves and others.

2. Describe what you believe to be your target market

We’re going to need to bring the end user into this process so it’s important to outline who that person is early on. It is unlikely we will know everything about them but noting down assumptions gives us a starting point. We’ve put together a hybrid persona and empathy map template that enables us to clearly represent the target market.

Once we’ve outlined your persona we then need to find individuals who match it and are willing to participate in our upcoming research. To avoid building a product that nobody wants it’s important to select only those who are a close match.

3. Arrange research/testing sessions to avoid future delays

As a lot of what we will be doing is centred on the user these really are must have sessions. Without them we can make huge assumptions that can prove to be very costly. Participants are suitably incentivised for higher engagement rates.

The more of these sessions we can organise the better but as a minimum we recommend having 3 user research sessions in weeks 1 and 2 with 3 user testing sessions in weeks 3 and 4. User testing can also take place in week 2 should we be ready with your wireframes.

4. Identify the elements that are important to your brand

It is easy to get sidetracked by a brand as it’s such a sentimental piece but we avoid letting this happen. A good brand is important but it is something which can and will be tweaked over time. The main thing is that your brand clearly conveys a set of values.

We’ve created a branding questionnaire to help expedite this process and quickly nail down the key elements for your brands identity. We are then able to handover the results to one of our designers without too much need for further explanation.

It’s important to remain in our personas shoes and not lot personal preference win. We start by writing down your mission statement and think about how this will be perceived by your persona. Colours, typography and styles all naturally follow.

5. Prepare project management tools and accounts

To ensure everything runs like clockwork it’s imperative to have the correct tools and accounts in place. We usually work with the following:

  • Slack - good for general communication and automatic updates
  • Trello - simple and intuitive tool for managing the project activities
  • MailChimp - ideal for capturing leads and automating communications
  • Heroku - our recommended setup when coding your own landing page
  • Facebook - highly effective advertising and a business page for social proof
  • Google - as above but also useful for analytics and user journey maps
  • Typeform - our preferred tool for creating user research surveys
  • Balsamiq - perfect for creating your low fidelity wireframes
  • Sketch - a great tool for transforming your wireframes into UI designs
  • Invision - turn your UIs into clickable prototypes within minutes

Now you are prepared it's time for Immerse. Click here.