At Carimus, we take a design-first approach to the technology development projects we work on. When it comes to new ideas, we found there can be a great deal of room for interpretation in requirements, functionality and purpose. These are new ideas after all. Ideas need to be fleshed out, examined from multiple angles, cross-pollinated to teams and stakeholders and eventually validated in the target market. We think it’s important to get the clearest version of the product idea communicated to the product team as early in the lifecycle as possible. With a design-first approach, we’re able to accomplish this in a fast, clear, cost-effective way.
This is the most important goal of approaching product development from a design-first perspective. Ideas have a way of being interpreted in multiple ways depending on the perspective of the individual. These different perspectives are great to have while evaluating a product, but some ideas end up getting lost in translation even before they can be evaluated. By starting with the UI/UX design, the product idea can be communicated with unmistakable clarity. When stakeholders can see and interact with a simulated user experience, the idea comes to life, the team can orient around a shared experience and the possibilities of the product become clear.
A design-first approach allows teams to create better solutions. Even before something is fully functional and code has been written, teams can conceptualize further into the product, peer around “corners,” identify potential usability issues, bottle-necks or poor implementations of key ideas. During the design process, iteration is key – allowing the team to explore multiple solutions to a single problem and letting the best ideas win. This iteration happens quickly over live working sessions or fast iteration cycles, reducing time to market and ultimately providing a better v1 product.
Increased Speed, Reduced cost
When designs are finally done and requirements are finalized, a design forward approach allows the building portion of the product to be reduced – increasing speed to market and reducing cost. With a fully realized interactive design prototype, development questions can be deeply thought through, risks identified, challenges mitigated and questions answered prior to the first development sprint. Uncovering development questions during the production cycle can slow things down, require additional development cycles and potential rework. By having a clear picture of the end product, the development cycle is more focused, and can achieve faster delivery speeds and reduced cost.
A design-first approach works. Many of our clients have received venture funding before writing a single line of code – simply because the simulated user experience worked so well to communicate their ideas with clarity and prove the validity of their business.
We are committed to building impactful products for clients that we admire – and our design-first approach to product development is key to being the best at delivering technology products to market at speed. A creative design approach is critical to everything we do, as we believe design-led organizations hold an important differentiator in the marketplace and creating beautiful, usable software is a standard that our customers and their users expect.
Written by Bryan Martin