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From Visual Design to Product Vision

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From Visual Design to Product Vision

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Designers spend the first few years fine-tuning their craft, earning their stripes. One of the challenges a team faces is the need to figure out what to build that goes beyond execution.

In this session, Emmet will discuss the changing role of design and how it can change as your company scales and your career grows, the product vision which used to come from the top to a point where the long-term strategy and vision falls on the product team. Emmet will discuss how to best prepare for this new skillset and design for longer term vision over immediate execution.

Designers spend the first few years fine-tuning their craft, earning their stripes. One of the challenges a team faces is the need to figure out what to build that goes beyond execution.

In this session, Emmet will discuss the changing role of design and how it can change as your company scales and your career grows, the product vision which used to come from the top to a point where the long-term strategy and vision falls on the product team. Emmet will discuss how to best prepare for this new skillset and design for longer term vision over immediate execution.

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From Visual Design to Product Vision

  1. 1. Emmet Connolly @thoughtwax From Visual Design to Vision Design VP of Product Design Intercom UXDX Dublin Oct 2022 The role of Product Designers in shaping product direction
  2. 2. Shift from big tech to business impact More disruptive change is coming Designers now desire greater “strategic impact” Design can fi ll a critical company gap FOUR DRIVERS OF CHANGE 1. 2. 3. 4.
  3. 3. DESIGNERSSHOULDSHAPE PRODUCTVISION
  4. 4. Where did we come from, where do we go? The seat-at-the-table-i fi ciation of design PART I
  5. 5. 2000s 2010s
  6. 6. Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context— a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan. Eliel Saarinen
  7. 7. https://designerfund.com/business-impact
  8. 8. Customer problem Product solution Business impact → →
  9. 9. Customer opportunity Customer problem Product solution → →
  10. 10. Business focused User focused
  11. 11. Syd Mead sketch youtube.com syd mead, cityscape, retrofuturism, highly detailed, soft lighting, 8k resolution, oil on canvas, architectural magazine Stable Diffusion
  12. 12. https://twitter.com/wbuchw/status/1563162131024920576
  13. 13. Execution-focused Execution and strategy-focused →
  14. 14. “I want to work on strategy”
  15. 15. Designers are seeking out strategy work
  16. 16. Designers Organisational requirements Product Vision
  17. 17. Strategy What we want
  18. 18. Strategy What we want Execution How we build →
  19. 19. Strategy What we want Vision What to build Execution How we build → →
  20. 20. Understanding of customers, business, competitors Facilitation and synthesis Creativity, idea generation, product intuition Exploration, divergence and convergence Ability to tell a compelling story about the future Ability to bring ideas to life visually In short… DESIGN SKILLS!
  21. 21. Designers are ideally suited to fill this gap
  22. 22. Shift from big tech to business impact More disruptive change is coming Designers now desire greater “strategic impact” Design can fi ll a critical company gap FOUR DRIVERS OF CHANGE 1. 2. 3. 4.
  23. 23. What even is a product vision? And how to create one in several hundred simple steps PART II
  24. 24. Strategy What we want Vision What to build Execution How we build → →
  25. 25. Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud
  26. 26. PRODUCT VISION CASE STUDY: INTERCOM INBOX
  27. 27. Form a working group • De fi ne DACI • Set up working sessions
  28. 28. Align on the objectives • Why do you need a vision? • What is the scope of the vision? • How will you use it?
  29. 29. Start collecting ideas • From a broad group, right away • Use as inputs for brainstorming later
  30. 30. Uncover key problems and opportunities • Gather existing research • Conduct new research • Audit the product yourself • Group it into themes • Score them (frequency, importance)
  31. 31. Gather inputs for brainstorming • How competitors solve these problems • How other industries solve similar problems
  32. 32. Plan cross-functional design workshops • How will you use the time? • Who should be there? • What problems or opportunities are you going to explore?
  33. 33. Run cross-functional design workshops • Gather a broad set of ideas • Discuss the most interesting ideas
  34. 34. Synthesise the results • Group similar ideas together • Describe or visualise • Rank them by potential and ambiguity • Pair with someone on this
  35. 35. Develop promising but ambiguous ideas further • Disambiguate the solution at a high level
  36. 36. Evaluate the ideas • Which have the biggest potential? • Consider your con fi dence, effort, ambiguity, differentiation, revenue impact, etc.
  37. 37. Test the most promising ideas with customers • Show customers • Show your Sales team • Understand what resonates and what doesn't 😇
  38. 38. Develop key pillars for the vision • What are the broader themes? • How will they help you win? • How will you explain it to customers? • What’s your revenue hypothesis?
  39. 39. Turn it into a story and communicate it • Strategy → Vision → Outcome • Share it far and wide, get buy-in (getting folks involved in workshops makes this easier)
  40. 40. Plan how you'll bring the vision to life • Team remits • Key projects • Sequence
  41. 41. DESIGNERSSHOULDSHAPE PRODUCTVISION
  42. 42. Emmet Connolly @thoughtwax From Visual Design to Vision Design VP of Product Design Intercom UXDX Dublin Oct 2022 The role of Product Designers in shaping product direction

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