Often when starting a project the first thing that comes to mind is the design. It's easy to get eager and jump into discussion about what it will look like. Our friends at UserTesting helped layout four simple questions everyone should answer before you begin design.
1. What problem are you solving?
Essentially this is the "why" behind the project. It's important to understand the usefulness for users. If you're not solving a problem then it's very unlikely your project will be a success.
2. Who’s your ideal user?
Get specific when defining your target audience. It's hard to be everything to everyone so pick an audience to serve and do some research around what will be appealing and relevant to them.
"When you apply a rigorous framework, it becomes clear which ideas you shouldn’t waste your time on—and which ones you should pursue. It’s hard work up-front, but when you get that specific it’s much easier to design a product that people love to use." - Spencer Lanoue (@slanoue)
3. What do they want to do?
Define your user's mission. The more simple you make it for them to get or do what they want, the more they'll appreciate your design. Make interaction with your design easy and simple.
4. What do you want them to do?
What you want and what your users want may be very different. And that's alright. The article sites the example of Dropbox. Users log on to upload or download files, but Dropbox really wants you to upgrade to premium. Good designs should be beneficial to both parties.
Fools rush in. Don't start designing before you answer these questions with your team or client. The most beautiful designs may prove to be useless if these items aren't considered upfront. Read the full article here.
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