28 Oct Phase 2: Define
Phase 2: Define
In the Define phase, the team evaluates everything they learned in the Understand phase to establish focus. This is done by defining specific context and desired outcomes of potential solutions. The phase concludes by choosing a specific focus for your Sprint, as well as goals, success metrics, and signals.
All Define Methods
Success Metrics & Signals
Defining a shared understanding of Success Metrics is a vital step in the Design Sprint for the team to effectively problem solve together. Does your team have agreed-upon success metrics or signals? If yes, remind everyone of the goals. If not, use this time to list and agree on success metrics and signals. What is the difference between success metrics and signals? Signals relate to the general presence of a behavior that is desirable. Metrics are quantifiable, numeric outputs with regards to the desired behavior.
Google often uses the HEART method, which breaks down the process of creating metrics. It encourages the consideration of five categories when developing goals and corresponding metrics. These categories are: Happiness, Engagement, Acquisition, Retention, and Task completion.
- GOAL: Start by thinking about the big picture: What are you trying to help users do? What problem are you trying to solve?
- SIGNAL: Next, consider what change in user behavior or opinion would indicate you have been successful in your goals. There may be multiple signals for each of your goals.
- METRIC: Finally, determine how to measure the size of any change in user behavior or opinion. This could be through surveys or log analysis.
- Example: ADOPTION
Goal -> Users start using “smart pay” to pay their bills
Metric -> Proportion of clicks on action to pay that result in a paid bill
Signal -> User clicks on the action to pay
The Business Model Canvas
The Business Model Canvas is a template that’s often used in Lean Startup methodology. It allows teams to consider key implications in the business planning process.
Answer the questions for each of the nine segments:
- Key Partners
- Key Activities
- Value Proposition
- Customer Relationship
- Customer Segment
- Key Resource
- Distribution Channel
- Cost Structure
- Revenue Stream
Design principles help you align your team on the values that will drive your product design decisions and ensure a consistent experience for your users. Establishing principles as a team will help throughout the product development process to make design reviews and decisions easier. This method should be used during the Define phase to ensure that your team is warmed up and already comfortable brainstorming.
The principles your team selects should be succinct but specific for example, many products are efficient, but few are effortless. Here are several good design principles and supporting descriptions:
- Effortless: Makes the easy things easier & the hard things possible.
- Insightful: Uses multiple sources and signals to anticipate needs and suggest things that are surprisingly good.
- Attentive: Kid friendly. Me friendly. Us friendly. Observant.
- Humble: Open to feedback, learns over time.
- Introduce the challenge.
- Give the team 5 minutes to list as many principles as they can. One per sticky.
- Take 10 min to share & group the stickies.
- Take 10 min to vote and decide on the strongest principles to guide your project or product.
- Assign a team member to digitize the principles for further use in the Validate phase of your sprint.
- During the Validate phase, test if users report the same words in describing your project or product
The Golden Path, or the Key Usey Journey
Every application has multiple user paths through it. All these paths are valid. The Golden Path, or the Key Usey Journey as it is also called, is the key set of steps that a user takes to find a product’s real value. This path should be the ideal default and not focus on exceptions or errors.
In your team’s efforts to identify the golden path through your product, don’t think in terms of pages, think in terms of stories. This path should be easy and effortless. You may come across additional alternate path scenarios which are all valid optional outcomes. Prioritize the central flow of the product, not the secondary flows. The secondary experiences can be called supporting or red threads. Some examples of red threads are: creating an account, editing an order, updating your address.
The naming of this concept can vary in different methodologies, but the central idea is the same: knowing your product’s ideal path will help you focus your work.
- If the product already exists, list out the possible user stories for using the product. If the product does not exist yet, sketch the ideal path through the new product as you understand it. Each step of each story should be on its own sticky.
- Highlight the ideal path through the story. This is known as your golden path.
- Assign a team member to digitize The Golden Path for further use in your sprint.
Future Press Release
A future press release can help focus the team on the desired outcome and get everyone on the same page. To start composing your press release, answer these questions:
- What is your product called?
- What’s specifically launching on this (imaginary) day?
- Who is your product for?
- What user pain are you targeting?
- Why, in your own voice, did you make this product?
- What will the customer’s perspective be?
- What makes this product extraordinary?
- How would your favorite customer describe the experience of the product?
Time50 minsActivityGroupSprint TypeAll
With these answers, you can start to structure your press release. You want to ensure that all key elements are present in your future vision. Your press release should contain:
- State of the problem & customer definition
- Overview of solution & customer definition
- Details of the solution
- Why we did this, in our own voice
- Why customers love it, in their voice
- How customers get started using it
There is also an expected writing style and tone to a press release. While you are composing, keep these pointers in mind:
- This is a structure format, not an open-ended creative writing exercise
- Write in accessible language, no acronyms
- Incorporate quotes from real people, including yourself
- Keep it to one page or shorter
- Positive in tone, not «finally we fixed…» or «now this doesn’t suck»
- Avoids competitive comparisons, but emphasize differentiators
- Think sketching – a balance between compelling and throwaway
- Introduce the challenge of writing a press release to the team.
- Ask participants to take 10 minutes, working in groups and create their own version of the press release.
- Take 20 minutes to share, compare and select the best components from each group.
- Assign team members to digitize the press release in the next 10 minutes.