To see what’s stopping your organization from getting amazing software out the door try:
The following criteria will help your organization boost your ability to deliver a product that is visually impressive, immediately intuitive, and is a standout innovation in the market.
We believe the next level of success is about getting the right design, product management, and development competencies seamlessly integrated, working together as one team with a common goal amazing software that gets out the door fast.
Our organization has had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest software companies leading this movement. In this paper we describe five recurring patterns in the way these companies are now structuring multi-disciplinary software teams that fuel their current success.
The Trifecta of Software Design
Across all industries, companies are waking up to the power of design. They are realizing that great design can differentiate a product in a field of competitors, reduce development churn, and sell more product.
However, there is a lot more to creating a design users love than the visual look and feel. A number of companies are spending top dollar to build a User Experience (UX) team, but are making frustratingly little progress.
Who’s In Charge of your UI Design?
One of the first questions we ask every new client is simply “Who’s in charge of your software design?”
It Takes Three
There are, in fact, three disciplines involved in creating a great design that are as different from one another as marketing, sales and engineering.
1. DESIGN RESEARCH.
Design researchers specialize in uncovering user needs. They train for years to learn how to interview and observe users. Their findings almost always yield incredible insights that can be used to determine the exact point in the workflow where users are abandoning your e-commerce website or even help you uncover the next big innovation in your product line.
2. INTERACTION DESIGN.
Interaction designers are the masters of intuitive layouts, workflows and content prioritization. They work with product management and design researchers to obtain market and user research and translate it into a draft of what the product will look like, how it will behave, and how it ties back to the user’s goals—usually in the form of sketches called “wireframes”.
3. VISUAL DESIGN.
Visual designers are graphical experts that specialize in tools like Photoshop and Illustrator to add the right visual “wow” to software. Good visual designers can provide users with an instant emotional connection to a product even before they start using it.
Each discipline is so different from the other that companies are best served with even part-time help from a specialist in each area rather than one full-time jack of all trades.
Product Managers and Design Researchers— Partners in Strategy
Sometimes a great product strategy might not even make it to market if it is first intercepted by internal executives with their own perceptions and biases. When a product manager and design researcher form
a strong partnership, they can make sure they get the organization’s buy-in by focusing on the facts rather than opinions and speculation.
What works best is when a product manager and design researcher co-present the data to all internal stakeholders along with the plan for product design and rollout using storyboards, narratives, charts, and concept designs.