Product Designer

Here's a brief overview of what all things a Product Designer would be responsible of.

Below is a quick introduction to the most important rules and responsibilities of our product designers. It should give you an idea about what your tasks are, the etiquette when working with clients and how we make sure that the quality of outcomes is consistently high.

Role and responsibilities

As a product designer, your task is to understand the collaborative vision of the product and create a visual prototype, which can act as the basis for a user test. It needs to look indistinguishable from a real product and have a flawless user experience, aimed at visualising the main intentions of the team. You are also responsible for guiding the team's decisions to create a cohesive user journey and usable information architecture. In some cases, your task will also be to create a unique visual identity, which will make the product appealing.

Levels and Skills

Community Member

Level

Task

0

Shadowing (i.e. plain observation)

Collaborator

Level

Type

1

Prepare design files for client handover (labelling, etc.)

2

Fill in details of a component in the prototype

3

Create a component library

4

Submit, research, and provide relevant sprint questions

5

Write a coherent user story

6

Contribute to storyboarding using useful elements

7

Useful UX changes/suggestions in workshops and prototype

8

Design unique/secondary screens based on the existing style

9

Draw a concept with great UX

10

Set the visual direction of a key prototype screen

Expert

Level

Task

11

Make sure the prototype is done on time and present results

Work etiquette

  • Please behave professionally and reduce visual noise on camera (items in background), auditory noise (background) and contextual noise (unnecessary words or comments) to a minimum.

  • Always listen to the client and pay attention to their needs.

  • Always-Be-Capturing. When someone speaks and the content of the conversation is important, write notes on a Miro board or in your personal notebook to make sure that you can refer back to them later.

  • Always have Discord open with the internal project channel for conversations with the team outside of Zoom.

  • Mute your phone and desktop's notifications. You need to be 100% present in the workshops.

  • Don't eat, smoke or do any other activities during workshops. If you are not the main facilitator, turn off your camera in case you need to step away from the screen.

Project set-up and brief

Deep Work takes overall administrative efforts related to sales and the project specification. We then choose the experts who fit the project the most and put together a team. This is when:

  • You receive a request for participation with a suggested date and time

  • You can decline or accept, confirming the date and time

  • After accepting, you receive a brief and calendar invites for an onboarding call and to block out your time on the project

  • You can then choose a collaborator for shadowing (see details below)

  • You then join an internal onboarding call to discuss open questions, understand the product and get to know the rest of the team. Make sure that you get answers to all your questions about the product so you have a good idea of how it works.

  • After the onboarding call, you will be CC'd in an email to the client and have time to prepare everything you personally need for the workshops. You also have a chance to split tasks with your shadower or discuss their role in the workshops.

Hypersprint

Projects follow a set (but flexible) process to manage expectations and produce high-quality results for the client team.

Before the Hypersprint:

User Testing - Some projects start with a round of user testing. You will not be involved in it, but the first 30min of the first workshop is dedicated to the researcher presenting results.

Workshop Days:

Workshops - Depending on the type of Hypersprint, the facilitator will be running two or three workshop sessions.

    • During the workshops, you will be supporting the facilitator in making strategic product design decisions and guiding the client towards designing a product that their users should fall in love with. Some clients tend to be insecure and may need more or less handholding, in which case you can always give them advice and help steer the product in a direction, which will benefit the users.

    • During the storyboarding session, your task is to understand what the team's intentions are for the product and visualize it in simple ways. The goal is to create a basic concept with all necessary details so you can design the prototype with high visual fidelity, without external support.

As the designer on the collaboration, you need to enforce that all the content and decisions are made by the team during the storyboard. It is essential that you don't have to make these or fill in the gaps during the prototyping as there is no time.

During the storyboard, at each break, you need to estimate what you are capable of designing during the two or three days of prototyping. E.g.: We've designed three screens at this first break and I estimate that due to the complexity, these are going to take 50% of my available time during the prototyping process. Please bear this in mind as we go into details on the next six screens.

Prototyping

Prototyping - After the workshops, you will take the results and design a high fidelity prototype. It needs to be exactly what has been agreed on during the workshops and contain no fundamental changes. Alterations and improvements in UX and visual style are acceptable if you can provide convincing reasons.

During the first Hypersprint, the project needs to be tested for product-market-fit within a few days. This means that the priority for the design work should be on creating a linear screen-flow in as little time as possible. Unless specified otherwise, please de-prioritise component libraries, complex prototype interactions and any (un-agreed) additions to the UX or visual design. The goal is to create a deceptively real-looking design of a product that doesn't exist.

It is important to design to this level of visual fidelity and not go further. Please see our past projects as examples for the level client's expectations.

  • After you finished prototyping, record a video walkthrough of the prototype, to give the rest of the team context on how the product looks and how the prototype works. The user researcher needs to understand where all your design decisions came from, how (and where) to click on the prototype and how the final product is supposed to work.

After Prototyping

User Testing - During or after prototyping, the user researcher will prepare a script for the user interviews, based on your video walkthrough and the facilitators summary of the workshops. After they are done, they will share the script with the team, which will take a look and approve it.

After the user testing is finished, the researcher writes a report to present in front of the client. Their report will contain the user feedback and everything the client needs to know to get an idea how the product will be perceived on the market.

Final Presentation

Before the final presentation, make sure that the report covers the questions agreed on during the sprint. It should honestly represent the feedback of the users and give the client confidence when developing the product and shipping it to market.

The final presentation should feel like a climactic conclusion to the Hypersprint experience. The facilitator will open the presentation and re-iterate what has been agreed on during the workshop. They then pass on to you to present the prototype and after you are finished, it's the user researchers turn to present the results of the user testing.

After that, the client can ask questions to clarify details and you wrap up the presentation by providing the client with free tools.

Retrospective

After each cycle of workshops/prototyping/user testing, we run a short 1-hour retrospective to reflect on our experience and evaluate how to improve. It follows are very simple process:

  • Write down all positives and negatives (7 minutes)

  • Readout all positives individually (1 minute each)

  • Readout all negatives individually (1 minute each)

  • Vote on negatives (3 minutes)

  • Brainstorm solutions for negatives (7 minutes)

  • Vote on solutions (3 minutes)

  • Discuss feasibility and delegate

You can find a Miro board with most Retrospectives here: https://miro.com/app/board/o9J_lfNSlU4=/

If you had a collaborator helping you, you have the chance to give your collaborator feedback on their performance. If you like, you can also review anyone on the project.

It is encouraged for an Expert to give feedback to their Collaborator because it will help them become better and help out more next time. It's also possible for a collaborator to give feedback to an Expert or even across domains.

Invoicing

Remember to send us your invoice after the project is finished.

Tools

Video-conferencing — Zoom

Collaboration — Miro

Team chat — Discord

Prototype Design — Figma

Collaborators

For each client project, you are either the Expert (main responsibility and lead) or a Collaborator or a shadower. The Collaborator is usually on a lower level than the Expert (who is paid the full rate) or wants to be observed and graded before becoming an Expert.

There are three scenarios for collaborating on a sprint:

Collaborating in order to become an Expert — 50% of the full rate

This means that if the Collaborator feels confident that next time they will be able to lead a project as an Expert and get paid in full - so this is like a trial run. The trial run is being paid half the amount. The Collaborator needs to prove that they are ready to lead facilitate, lead user research or lead prototype in order to fall in this category. After they apply, the Expert on the project looks at their previous work and evaluates whether they think the collaborator is ready.

Collaborating — Level * $10

Currently, it will give a Collaborator the chance to learn faster by working on actual client projects with high stakes. It will be unpaid but will allow a collaborator to progress in their level on a real project (which they can add to their portfolio) and get valuable feedback from an Expert after the sprint.

Shadowing to observe — Unpaid

Community members can apply to join a project to simply observe and learn from the experience. If no work is contributed with and it's only a learning experience, the shadowing is unpaid. Shadowers still need to apply and invited by the respective Expert.