The problem with big bang design
It starts with a really fancy deck in your inbox. I’ve received these as both an internal head of UX and as a product consultant. The deck is lovely, comprehensive, well written and detailed. It makes be a bit jealous.
The problem is that only about 15% of what’s in it will actually be implemented and the client or stakeholder doesn’t know or want to know that’s what is going to happen.
When I see one of these decks, I know I’m likely going to spend the next several months negotiating what’s out and trying to help all the many stakeholders understand and be comfortable with what they are actually going to get.
There are ideas in that deck that are going to be costly and difficult to achieve. They call for infrastructure that doesn’t exist, ignore accesibility requirements and don’t easily allow for an incremental approach.
Sadly a lot of what I find in these bing design concepts. Hasn’t been validated with customers. There were interviews at the start but that was the extent of it.
If you’re thinking about hiring an agency. Have them do the research and bring back their high concepts. Then have them stop.
My hope is that they will broaden your thinking and come back with some good ideas. With these ideas in place, a cross-functional team of product, design and engineering folks can get to work on validating and building.
Having an agency specify design details is a waste of money. Having a designer on a team working with them every day is an investment that will pay off. Having a product team testing and learning with customers is even better
Image: A detail in a now closed Atlantic City casino