After working with many product teams in small and big companies, I collected the most important things you have to do while you build a digital product. This is the UX Minimum Checklist. It can help you to start building a design culture in your organization. It is not perfect. But still, it is a good startig point and a checklist for anyone. So does your team fit the minimum requirements?
1. Weekly user tests
Getting frequent user feedback is an essential part of building any product. You need it when you design something and iterate on different prototypes. You need it when you want to find out what problems to solve next. And you need it when something is ready to be shipped. With having at least one user test a week, you can maintain a close relationship with your users. So you can be sure, the important insights will find their way to your team. Have at least one user test every week and you can check the first item of the UX Minimum Checklist.
2. Regular product discovery
Testing your product or prototype is cool, but you also need to come up with new feature or product ideas. In other words you should have a systematic way of doing product discovery. The goal is to find your audience’s pains and needs and come up with new ideas to solve them. You can do regular interviews, field research, experience sampling, diary study or competitor analysis. Some companies have dedicated discovery teams. But you don’t necessary need that. You can do mini discovery interviews before every user test. Or just choose a method from the list and do it in every second month.
3. Prototype first
When you build a new product or a new feature you should build a prototype first. A prototype is a low-fidelity clickable wireframe. It’s easy and fun to create them. If you don’t feel embarrassed of your proto, you have spent too much time with it. The goal is to test this early prototype with people and get important feedback. Later every change will cost you precious developement time. So it’s better to find those problems early.
4. Measure usage, have numbers
You can start with the most basic things, like installing Analytics and Hotjar. If you want to track users one-by-one, Mixpanel can be a good choice. More advanced teams have their own logging solutions, and they often hire data analysts too. The main point is to measure what happens in your product. It takes some time to install and maintain these tools, but believe me, it worth it. Data will help you to have a clear picture, and make decisions. It can’t replace the insights you get from user research, but it is still a must have, so it has its place on our UX checklist.
5. Regular design meetings with business and dev leads
At UX studio we work in week-long design sprints and we meet with our clients every week. In my experience it is important to have business guys and developers on these design meetings too. Business leaders can emphasis the goals, and developers can give feedback about the feasibility. If they take part in the design process they will also understand the solutions better. You can decide the frequency yourself, but you will need regular meetings with these guys. So it’s better to schedule a recurring meeting. You should invite at least one developer and one business leader to the design meetings.
6. Workshops to empathize with users and align the team
To make sure that everyone is on the same page, you should hold a persona, a jobs-to-be-done or a customer journey workshop. On these workshops your team defines the personas you are building for together, and explore their journey with your product. At the end everybody will have a clear picture about the users and the context. It’s not magic, but it will help your teammates to make good decisions about your product. And it definitely worth a few hours of time. UX people can help you to do some research so you can use real data, and they can also facilitate the workshops. We have many tricks to get people involved. 🙂
Test your team quickly with this UX checklist
And now it’s time to do a quick self-check. How many questions can you answer with yes?
- Do you do at least one user test every week?
- Do you do some kind of product discovery regularly?
- Do you start building new features with prototypes?
- Do you have analytics tools installed?
- Do you have a recurring design meeting scheduled with biz and dev leaders?
- Have you done a design workshop together with your team?
If you have 6 yes answers, you are awesome. You passed the UX Minimum test. Congratulations. 🙂
If not, don’t be sad. It’s very easy to get started with these things. Just start doing.