Got a problem? Get a designer!
Designers are problems-solvers.
Sometimes, the problem is that a new feature is needed in an existing solution.
Sometimes, the problem can be that some features are not used. Or that users don’t see value in the digital solution.
Other times, the problem is that a user’s need is identified nobody knows how’s to address it.
Once in a while, the problem is that an existing digital solution is technologically outdated or not very good-looking.
As designers, we enter projects for many different reasons, that pretty much always can be boiled down to: There is a problem, it needs to get fixed. This is very broad. If you, as a potential new partner or client, want to hire a designer to solve your problem, I hope that you will request some examples of what we can do. So here are three examples* of the problems a designer can solve for you, and how we could do it.
Problem example 1: You have an idea you think is a good one, but you are not sure. You also don’t know exactly what the idea will include and whether there’s money in it.
How we will solve your problem: We are going to find out if your idea is good. ASAP.
What will we do, exactly: After a thorough talk about your idea, so that we know what you have in mind, we jump straight into creating a prototype that visualises your idea. The prototype can be low-fidelity (read: minimal effort), and it is allowed to only show a simplified version of your idea. The most important thing is, that the essens of your concept idea is shown in a way that potential users can understand. We can, for example, hand draw wireframes for a userflow, use stock images, and imitate interaction in a clickable prototype. When we have a prototype in our hands, we will show it to a bunch of potential users and get feedback. We will ask them two crucial questions: 1) In what situation can you imagine using this product? “) Who would you recommend the product to and why?
With such a round of rapid prototyping and user testing, we will be able to - quickly! - learn if you’re idea is a good one. From there, we can choose to move into concept development, if your idea is good, or choose a different direction based on what we have learned.
Problem example 2: You want your business to be more digital. You can see that you are losing customers to digital alternatives. You don’t know how to get started with digitising and you lack knowledge, inspiration and ideas.
How do we solve your problem: We identify digital potentials and make a plan for how you can get started with digitising your business.
What do we do, exactly: We start by mapping your current business. We hold one of several user journey workshops, where we visualise your users’ journey, as it is today, and how your business support the user’s journey. We highligh where frustrations arise, where work load is unnecessarily high, and where the users are lost. When we have mapped the current user journey, we go into solution-mode and brainstorm how you could solve some of the frustrations and challenges that arise. When we have a bunch of ideas on the table, we prioritise them and chose where to start, based on what gives most value within a manageable time frame. We concept develop through ideation workshops, clarify uncertainties through a Design Sprint, and test the concept with your users to ensure that we are on the right path.
Problem example 3: You have an idea that’s great for your business, you know who your target user is. You know you can create value for your user, and therefore your business. But your idea is vague, and you struggle to make the details concrete.
How do we solve your problem: We develop the concept, and work on clarifying the uncertainties.
What do we do, exactly: We start out with a session of a couple of hours, where we draw the idea as you imagine it. We draw in order to visualise your thoughts, and to be sure that everyone in the room imagines the same things. While we draw, we talk through the different parts of the concept. Are there any features that you are uncertain about? Are there parts of the idea that are really complex? Are there any risks in the concept, that we need to address first? When we have put words and drawings to the idea, we choose where to start and dedicate a limited time frame to exploring the first part of the concept. We can choose different directions here. For example, we can set off a week to work through an uncertain part of the concept in a GV Design Sprint. Or we can dedicate some days to generating ideas within a value-creating part of the concept, build a prototype and test it with users. The purpose is to work through the concept in manageable bites (workshops, sessions, creative sprints) until we start seeing a holistic solution that we believe in. When this happens, it is time to ground the project and get a skilled project manager onboard to start a development process.
The bottom line: Identify the problem, before you try to find a solution.
An awesome project starts with an awesome problem. When the first thing we do is to identify the problem we are trying to solve, there is a clear direction for the project and a goal to aim for. when the team is aware of the problem, we have a good foundation for making the right decisions that help us find the right way to a solution.
Remember: These are examples of what we could choose to do to solve your problems. Each project is different and we decide how to solve a problem based on time, available stakeholders, specific needs in each context and a bunch of other factors. We make sure to choose the right path in your specific situation.