What is the Design Marathon and why do it?
The Marathon begins by creating alignment with every level of your organisation. We then focus on developing the overall visual design for the product based on the prototype produced in the Relay. Once we create this foundation, we move on to iteratively working on each screen, from concept to detail, tackling all issues such as dead ends and error conditions.
Our process is unusual and state-of-the-art because we start with an already tested, high-level version of the solution. This means that even before we hand over the first completed screen, the engineering team can work on the architectural design because they understand the solution and are onboard. Cementing these critical items up front means that your team can start implementation as soon as possible.
When we complete one feature, we hand it off to engineering to begin development, and the design team moves on to the next item, repeating this process until engineering has detailed designs for each part of the product.
What does the Marathon involve?
- Alignment: We present the high-level solution built during the Relay to your entire organisation. Not only do we educate and receive feedback from every vertical unit of your business, but they also understand what must be delivered to make the concept a success.
- Planning: We create the master list of user stories and prioritise them so that we have a detailed plan for the entire team.
- Visual direction: This step is where our team excels. Within two to three weeks into the Marathon we finalise the overall visual direction of the product. Because of this, we deliver final screens as soon as a feature is completed instead of waiting until the end to put the finishing touches on the product.
- Interaction design: With team buy-in, a prioritised list of user stories and a set visual direction, we now focus on creating a detailed and consistent design system that ensures a seamless flow of information between all screens in a predictable manner.
- Delivery: Once a story is complete and accepted, engineering receives it and begins implementation. Delivery occurs for each feature as opposed to one final solution handed off at the end of the design process.
- Usability testing: We now put the product in front of users to iron out any kinks in the features, such as unclear wording or confusing call to actions (CTAs).
What is the outcome of a Design Marathon?
At the end of a Marathon, all features are thoroughly designed and tested, accepted by your team and handed off for implementation. Engineering has everything they need to build your product.
What comes after the Design Marathon?
Once engineering completes development, they create a beta version and put it in the hands of a few thousand users. This step is critical because actual customers confirm that it solves their pain points. Without this affirmation, you could release a product that fails for your users, potentially tarnishing your company’s reputation.