Write better walkthroughs with the 3x3 Method

Constraints for clarity

When designing the walkthroughs for Peeps, my current startup, I had a hard time knowing what to focus on. My head was so deep in the product — what we had, what was upcoming, what worked well, what wasn’t quite there — that it was hard to see the wood for the trees. I needed a way to focus on what the key benefits were for end-users. Why should they sign up for this?

Try it now

Try it with your own product. 3 boxes, each with three lines underneath. Sketch a simple illustration in the boxes, then write 3 words on the lines underneath. Explain what, why and how.

  • Whywhat’s the benefit? (makes for a good slogan).
  • How a differentiator. Perhaps an innovative piece of functionality or a cost indicator.
I cheated a little on the last panel here (told you it was tough!)

Where’s the beef?

The second part is where you beef out the choices arrived at so far, and shape them into something that will sell your products’ concepts to potential users. In production — that is, where you eventually display the walkthroughs — you will likely need to soften the language so it reads well for your readers; but maintain the key messages derived from the 3x3 exercise.

The final Peeps walkthrough. Note how the original 3x3 has been expanded, but retains the same message.

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Co-founder, designer — Bricklane

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