Armed with the insights gained from the Discovery Phase, we are ready to define a Central Design Challenge. We may have had an idea about what this challenge could be before Discovery, but now this concise, research-informed statement can guide us through Defining and Designing our project with the end goal and users in mind.
- Begin by defining the objective of the service or product you’re building. Why do they exist? For example, a health-focused editorial site’s objective might be “To inform readers on how to live healthier lives and create an empathetic community.”
- In the next section, let’s remind ourselves who the key players are – who are the top 3 users, employees, or other stakeholders our design needs to serve?
- With these things in mind, we can take a stab at defining the design challenge – a guiding statement, which will involve a bit of word-smithing derived from “How can we verb to objective for users.” An example sentence we came up with for our health-focused editorial site was – “How can we design a responsive framework to create an empathetic community built on accuracy, trust, empowerment and authentic storytelling for people living with chronic conditions and the people who care for and support them” – this statement is heavily influenced by the research that led to this point – both of stakeholder and user needs.
- Lastly, define four success metrics for your design challenge. How do you know when you have succeeded in your challenge? Make sure each metric is specific, measurable, and time-based. For example “Gain 1k new email subscribers within five months after launch.” These metrics will give you something tangible to work towards while trying to achieve your challenge.
- After this exercise, keep this poster handy, or hang it up. Keeping your Central Design Challenge top-of-mind will keep the team aligned and your head in the right space while working on the project.