At Everoad, we have grown super fast in a few months, from 7 folks (1 designer and 6 developers) in the tech team to 22 people (product managers, designers, engineers).
When you scale that fast, preserving branding and user experience quality of your product is a real challenge.
If you too, are wondering how to align your product/tech/design teams, then I strongly recommend that you to start with design principles.
Here are inspiring resources, incl. the workshop’s framework we followed.
Here is their design principles definition:
“Design Principles are a tool for creating a better, more consistent experience for your users. They are high level principles that guide the detailed design decisions you make as you’re working on a project. There are essentially two kinds of them. Universal and Specific.”
But if you just list your design principles, how would you prioritize it? Depending on the project you’re working on, the experience you are designing, its context or final users, which of your design principle should you follow first?
Design Principles workshop
Time: 90min (10min break included)
- 1 facilitator
- 7 participants maximum
It can be a brand as a UX designer, a product manager, a content writer, a developer… anyone having an impact on the final user experience.
- 1 dedicated room
- Pens & sticky notes
- Avoid inviting to many people (the more you are, the harder the workshop will be)
- Keep an eye on timing (the facilitator should also be time keeper)
- Avoid endless debates (the facilitator is allow to cut any debates at anytime, if not, your 90 minutes will become an afternoon and your workshop could becomes a torture)
A few days before the workshop:
Invite participants to the workshop and provide them with clear definition and examples of design principles. Ask them to prepare the exercice by thinking, a few days before, about what your design principles should be.
Part 1 | Ideation - 50min
- 5 min: Intro
Check that all participants are aligned on design principles definition
- 10 min: Individual proposals
Each participant lists design principles proposal.
1 sticky note = 1 proposal
Quality of proposals is more important than quantity
- 10 min: Presentation
Each participant put his/her proposals on a wall, and share it with the group, one by one.
- 15 min: Clusterization
The facilitator clusterize all proposals by themes with team insights
- 10 min: Vote
Each participant votes with stickers for 5 proposals.
This step will avoid endless debates, but it is not a democratic exercice. It doesn’t mean the proposal having the higher number of stickers is the most important. But it proves that its is super important for many participants, which will be helpful for the second part of the workshop.
Part 2 | Priorisation - 30min
- 15min: Discuss and formalize
The group discuss the themes and proposals, and the facilitator formalize it by main design principles on the whiteboard.
- 15min: Prioritization
The group discuss about the design principles hierachy of needs, and the facilitator reports it on a Maslow Pyramid
After the workshop
Once your design principles have been defined, it’s up to you to make them indispensable. Store them where people can easily access them.
Print them on wall. Put them on new employee onboarding routine. Make sure they are stored on your centralized documentation. Designers should know them by heart. It’s up to you to use it as a daily tool on any project.
It will help you to provide consistency and quality on any user experience you design.
Everoad design principles
Here are the results of our workshop:
1 | We are freight expert
Freight forwarding is our DNA. We are more than a matching platform. Everoad is about humans behind machines and user obsession. We provide trust, memorable and serious relationships with our customers through a bold Everoad personality.
2 | We simplify user’s life
We simplify user’s life though conversational design, guidance and feedbacks. We build supportive services and efficient systems, based on user needs. We provide usable and easy experiences focus on time saving and simple interactions.
3 | We design a lean & scalable system
We design a scalable, unified and consistent system to provide the best user experience. This system is based on human schemes and conceptual models rather than machine architecture or engineering logic. We think in user flows rather than interfaces. Our workflows and deliveries are always lean and scalable, following a lean ux process.
4 | We focus on clarity and accessibility
We build inclusive and accessible products, for all our users, no matter their language, age, gender, localisation, browser, device… We focus on designing obvious and affordant interactions, with clarity as a mainstream.
5 | Beauty is not an option
We build a serious, reliable and memorable branding though beautiful interfaces and delightfull interactions to improve constantly Everoad’s attraction, trust and credibility.
That’s it! I hope this article has been helpful. If so, please, clap & share.
And let us know if you try our framework or follow another methodology.
And if you want to work with an amazing team, where design is centric, and users are an obsession, join us.