Chapter 14. Framework Definition: Visualizing Solutions

Framework Definition: Visualizing Solutions

Once you have consensus from the stakeholders about what users the product should serve and what it will take to satisfy them, you can finally start to visualize concrete solutions. This begins with defining the framework of the design: the supporting structures and underlying concepts upon which every detail depends. Although scenarios are truly the first point at which you're envisioning the future, most people think of framework definition as the beginning of design.

Framework definition is far more dependent on design skill and experience than the previous phases. Many product managers and marketers can learn to do a decent job of interviewing users and creating personas, but most are not adept at visualizing solutions from thin air. Engineers can often visualize, but most lack the expertise to develop an elegant and desirable solution from a user's perspective.

Most stakeholders have high expectations. Some may even be hoping you can come up with a hot rod on a bicycle budget. This, combined with the natural anxiety of anyone facing a blank sheet of paper, makes framework definition one of the more stress-inducing parts of any project. It's also one of the most difficult; less-experienced designers generally need considerable guidance to develop strong solutions, and even the most expert designers need another set of eyes ...

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