Definition is typically the second part of a design and implementation project, but also can be done as a stand-alone engagement built upon existing discovery and research. When we create a definition process, we work closely with you to custom-design activities that best fit your needs. Here’s an example of what definition may include:
Content Strategy & Definition
Content is the single most important unit of value to your users. With that in mind, our content strategists focus on: how to improve your existing content, what new content you’ll need in order to increase brand and product performance, and how to best align your processes to design the right content for your users.
Conceptual Modeling & Prototype Testing
Our product designers draft early prototypes of your information and interaction structures — such as your navigation systems, your interaction flows and screens — in order to create a simulation that can be tested and refined. Some models are drafted diagrammatically and some with physical prototypes. Once conceptual models are validated and refined, we move into product definition.
During discovery and definition, our thinking is intentionally big picture and long-term. Short-term thinking fails to consider the future and the rapid pace of technological change — leading to depreciation and rework. In order to design for evolution and growth, our product designers create roadmaps that contain financial, operational, technological, and creative priorities phased out over 3-5 years (in some cases more). We then work closely with you to define what to prioritize as minimum viable products (MVP) and release methodologies. The product definition provides you with both an operational roadmap and a strategic communications tool to use with important stakeholders and funders.
Our information architects define the structural approaches needed to assist your users with wayfinding across many interrelated content approaches and types. As part of information architecture, our experts define how to make information design more responsive and intuitive — giving users a clearer understanding of and more control over their interaction. Information architecture also defines how your brand story will be conveyed throughout the experience, to build credibility and trust with your users as they engage.
User Experience Definition
Once the structure of your product is in place, our user experience architects begin to create the skeleton of your interaction system. They draft information and interaction design elements that will facilitate your user’s movement through the information structure and interrelated interactions with content and functionality. This starts to define interface elements (templates, content types, components) that will be the foundation of your experience. Through this process, our user experience architects define how your new information and interaction design will enhance your organization’s story, expand your audience reach, and motivate your users to action.
Workflow & Governance Frameworks
It is rare that we encounter a project that does not require changes to how governance and workflow structures are set up. New content strategy means new editorial guidelines. New information architectures means new publishing workflows. Our content strategists work closely with you to audit your current content ecosystem, determine new processes needed to support your new user experience, and document and train your teams on new ways of doing work.