How to start a product redesign - a playbook

A few months back I was working on a large, ground-up redesign for a product I own. I had a little trouble getting started. I realized I needed a playbook to remind me of the basics. I am sharing my playbook for those who are having trouble and procrastinating getting started. Enjoy.

Before you start


  1. At the highest level, in one paragraph, what is a representative user's goal and the problem you are solving for them? 
    • If you can't answer this succinctly you have many, many features or you don't know your users well enough to continue. 
    • Slow down, answer #1 for each feature set before you go to #2.
  2. What's working for them now?
  3. What's not?

What you need to design for them


  • Verify you are building all the tools they need.
  • Show the process they will use to reach goal - give them a map or trail to follow.
  • Indication of progress toward the user's goal - "You are here"
  • Make sure you build in escape hatches because they find a better way.
    • Very few user's "flow" from point a to point b. You can force them into a wizard pattern, but its more likely you will bore them and/or lose them in your flow.
  • Build in tracking of user activity so you can verify users are reaching goals.
  • Build in an internal review process to periodically review how well the features you built are working. I always learn from usage metrics as much as talking to actual users.

Popular posts from this blog

Your Inconsistent Design Makes Me Worry About Your Entire Product

An Easier Way to Decide