There is a lot of debate and discussion in our world between different Design methodologies & frameworks. Teams regularly discuss and often force-fit Design Thinking, Design Sprints & Agile as solutions to Innovation or Product Design challenges with no thought as to why. When looking into each framework they aren’t always clear on the best use-case for each and leave many aspects open to interpretation.
Design and Product processes and methodologies our just tools in our evolving toolkit, depending on the challenge we face and what we want to achieve we select the right frameworks. Here is a quick overview of some of those tools and my thoughts on where to use them.
Understanding the Design framework landscape
There is a fantastic blog post explaining the ideal use-cases for Design frameworks by Geert Claes. His approach is to map the various frameworks on a chart based on confidence in the solution and the business model.
In his chart we can see that Design Thinking helps us in the upfront abstract stages of understanding a large problem, developing and testing solutions and concepts. But as you move towards designing more detailed usable features and functionality for a real-world product, Lean Startup/Lean UX and Design Sprints become more relevant.
In addition we could add Service Design as a way of auditing all the products created and Lean UX alongside Lean Startup. Depending on where the challenge starts, and where the most value is, we can select the ideal mix of frameworks to enable clients and end-users.
Aligning frameworks to common use-cases
We can align the frameworks to different types of Design Challenge and your focus area:
More about each framework
I often have to quickly and concisely explain Design & Tech methodologies to participants in my workshops, and so have collected some great intro videos from Nielsen Norman Group, Atlassian and other thought leaders in the industry which explain each framework in just a few minutes.
Market — Design Thinking
Research and develop innovative and meaningful concepts/ideas which solve large tricky problems.
Market — Design Sprints
Bring together your business stakeholders and designers in a collaborative environment, to make decisions using existing research/data and prototype solutions quickly.
Organization — Service Design
Uncovering an organization’s services, potential issues and identifying improvements.
Product — Dual-track Scrum
Managing product discovery and delivery workstreams in tandem.
Product Discovery — Lean UX
Validating the right features to solve specific user needs.
Product Delivery — Scrum Development
Delivering high-quality working features.
Design & Tech frameworks and methodologies are tools to help us create more innovative and relevant products for people around the world. I hope this guide helps you get started with the right Design framework for the job!