January 19, 2020
I recently answered a question around documenting design process on Spectrum Chat. I thought to share it in here too.
Question: How do you document design decisions? Any solutions out there?
Answer: Whenever there’s a new project, it often starts with the product manager having one-on-one meeting with me to talk about the details of the project. During the meeting, I will usually ask the PM to share slide-deck or any document which contains the business goal or general info about the problem the project is attempting to solve.
Once I have this info, I create my own google doc and call it “Project title: design plan (WIP)” or “Project title: design strategy (WIP)” (doesn’t matter). I add WIP every time to show people it’s a living document.
The doc usually have sections roughly like this:
The problem we are solving
The business goal we are trying to achieve
The things we know already (current research: users, product).
Things we don’t know (research needed: users, product).
Based on the problem, business goal and research needed, I’m able to think and document a design strategy that will uncover the parallels that exist between the intended users goal and business goal.
I list every method I plan to use in all of the phases of understanding, ideating, prototyping, etc… Each method has its own section where i explain why it needs to be done. I share this document to everyone involved in the project (the team). From their feedback and additions, the document becomes one source of truth for the project. All of the actions performed under this project is documented in here. Now to your answer:
Let’s say for example, I made a section called “Customer refund: Design” in the doc. I’ll write a bit about this particular section and follow it up with the links to whatever tool (Figma, Invision, Protopie, whatever…).
Something like this:
Customer refund: Design
Some words…some words…some words…some words…some words…some words
Design - www.link.com/designfile.fig
Prototype - www.link.com/designprototype.pie