How can you track your success on a project? How do you show customer satisfaction and your impact on revenue? The answer, in a design thinking process, is to keep a close eye on the metrics you decided on up front and to keep a record of the financial impact (acquisition, retention, and sales) and satisfaction scores your product achieves during development, pilot, and release.
- How are you going to show that your crazy idea to start doing design thinking was worthwhile? The only way is to track what you did, and then, to show how your actions directly impacted customer satisfaction and revenue. I suggest you start with an empty presentation deck, and just keep adding to it as the project progresses. Show photos of the early sketches and prototypes, then screenshots of the first alpha build, and the first release. People love following the story of how the interface matured.
And with the design thinking approach they should be able to trace the visuals in the released product all the way back to those initial sketches. Then, you can make it clear to them how the sketches were based on user research, and how that was the central reason for the product's success. You can also show how consistent user feedback shaped the design, and kept you on the right path. You can demonstrate how much cheaper it was to do frequent check-ins with representative users than it would've been to make a design mistake, and then have to fix it later.
The two forms of data that you want to collect are quantitative and qualitative. Or numbers and words. The numbers should be metrics that show how successful your project is. Customer acquisition, retention, or satisfaction, for instance. There are also cost savings, in things like reduced support costs if the product works the way that people expect. Often, you'll have to estimate, or extrapolate these figures. Especially in the early days when you're testing pre-released code, but you can still give numbers.
Each of these numbers can be converted into dollar amounts. Executives seem to only really care about dollar figures. On the other hand, they also love quotes from real customers. These quotes often tell a really rich story about the product. You can gather quotes from usability testing and other customer feedback opportunities to really help bolster your case. And don't forget to gather metrics and quotes from the various groups you work with inside the organization. How much easier was it for other groups to work with your team? Can they tell you how much time, or money, that saved? Can you get an estimate of how much re-work was avoided? How many hours of unnecessary meetings did your early planning wipe out? All of these things are valid measures of success.
As the project progresses and gets closer to shipping, so will your presentation change. Your numbers will get firmer. Your quotes will get even more impressive. You may start to downplay some of the earlier work as the interface gets closer to its final version. But people love a good story. So, it's always worth reminding them of how you started with some initial user research, ideation, and paper prototyping. It's a great way to sell design thinking through the rest of your organization.
In this course, Chris Nodder explains where design thinking fits into product development and what it can help you achieve. He describes each step in the process, from identifying the problem you want to solve and brainstorming solutions, to prototyping, development, and release. Learn about the pros and cons of this approach and how to overcome challenges such as organization inertia and silos. Done right, design thinking can start your organization moving toward broader user-centered design techniques such as information architecture, content testing, usability testing, and marketing research.
- Agile, lean, and design thinking
- Preparing to sell design thinking to your organization
- Finding the real problem
- Correcting course
- Offshoring and outsourcing
- Getting past organizational inertia and silos
- Tracking your success