Design Hacking, how to put it into practice

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    First of all, let's recall the objective...

    Design Hacking is a design method seeking the perfect match between a product and its market (Product Market Fit). It follows all the major phases of design and development of a product and/or service (Design Thinking) by merging designers' techniques with those of growth hackers.

    This method takes the form of a Triple diamond, where design encourages differences and creativity, and where growth hacking allows for convergence and decision-making.

    Illustration du triple diamant design

    The design hacking approach, developed by 40/60 studio & Feads

    Identify the problem

    Any design hacking project starts with the identification of a problem, an observation or a product/service idea. What insurance can you imagine for freelancers? How to engage in responsible “zero plastic” consumption? How can I improve the customer satisfaction of my existing service?

    1. Explorer

    First, we are exploring. The needs of your market, the complexities of your ecosystem, the behaviors of your users, our objective is to identify and understand all users potential of your idea or problem.

    Designers and growth hackers are thus exploring.

    Illustration d'un homme avec une loupe

    Designers go out in the field to observe users, listen to them, collect their testimonies and formulate their intuitions. For example, they will observe freelancers to understand their insurance needs, both the declared needs — “I need to be covered in case of unpaid bills” — and the undeclared ones — “I am always on the go”.

    Growth hackers go exploring the web: they are multiplying tests to identify where your users are (social networks, forums, news media, etc.), what platforms do they consult, how do they behave online. The objective is to validate (or not) the qualitative insights produced by designers and identify via which channel to reach them.

    This complementarity is key: users who do not have the same behavior in the field as on the web, it is necessary to cross the two visions in order to obtain qualitative insights and to validate them with mass data.

    To carry out this user & growth research phase, we use a battery of tools:

    • The ecosystem map : the ecosystem map maps all the actors, places and objects of interaction. It is taken up by growth hackers in order to identify acquisition levers, i.e. the web channels through which to reach your targets.
    • The shadowing : shadowing is a technique for observing your users in real situations. It makes it possible to identify undeclared behaviors, uses and expectations.
    • The persona : the persona is an archetype representing a group of users whose patterns of behavior, motivations and expectations are similar.
    • The customer journey maps: The customer journey map is a representation of an experience. It allows you to visualize the journey of a user and its various points of contact with your service.
    • User interviews: interviews are individualized interviews with users in order to explore specific motivations or expectations.
    • A-Z testing : A-Z testing, not to be confused with A-B testing, calculates the performance of your product/service on a key variable (e.g. the color of a button, a search feature etc...). This thinking tool allows you to test a large number of variables with your users and thus gather a significant amount of information on their digital behavior. For example, we can create a large quantity of advertising on the Internet in order to observe whether the user is sensitive to them or not.

    At the end of the phase, we produce an observation report to consolidate all of our lessons.

    Illustration d'un homme qui bricole

    2. Imagine and design the solution

    Once we have observed the users and specified our problem, we can imagine its potential solutions.

    Ideation, that creative moment where we generate as many ideas as possible, is usually accompanied by frustration: the picks. Which idea should you opt for? According to what parameter? A business study done last year? The company's strategy?

    Should a business/travel insurance package be designed for freelancers? Include co-working spaces for free? Offer conventional insurance at a reduced price?

    For our part, we decided to trust users. After a first filtering stage, we prototype your various ideas and test them with your future users.

    Prototyping makes it possible to project into the future solution, to test a first experience of the service with users, to measure its attractiveness and thus to validate (or not) its potential for use. We thus gradually shape the idea by ensuring that it is already in the hands of your future user.

    Whether you are looking to test the concept, its physical form or its operation, prototypes can take several forms: physical or digital models, ephemeral places, landing pages, chatbot, posters, graphic representation etc. Landing pages, for example, are web pages that allow you to summarize the value proposition of your concept and to analyze the attractiveness of your solution** via the click rate and the registration rate.

    Illustration d'un homme qui batî une application mobile

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    3. Develop and launch the solution

    Once the prototype is validated, we start developing the solution.

    We are launching the solution and increasing the number of user tests — physical and online — to build and progressively optimize each feature of the product/service.

    At the same time, these tests allow us to gradually capture qualified leads, eager to get the solution.

    As the iterations go on, we are getting closer to Product Market Fit and let's build up a base of potential users.

    Once again, design and growth hacking are complementary. Where design will focus onuse of the product, growth hacking will make it possible to go a step further and to concretely measure its Desirability.

    4. Optimize the solution

    The quest for product market fit is never over and the life of a product/service requires continuous adaptation to changing user demands. Designers and growth hackers will continue to collaborate together to meet these demands and the goals of acquiring new customers, retaining existing customers, and optimizing revenue. These goals, known as the AARRR funnel goals, can be achieved in the form of sprints. This method will be detailed and will be the subject of a future article:)

    Illustration de deux personnes qui font un brainstorming

    In design hacking, we have 3 fundamental principles:

    • Always remain user-centric;
    • Have a holistic vision of the product;
    • Work in co-creation.

    Co-creation is essential, it is it that will allow the product to continue to evolve. We always work with the “product owners” of the projects and make it a point of honor to support and train the teams so that they can continue the process independently.


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