Designing a 10/10 Product

Rule #1: Stand For Something

This year’s The Design Conference took place at the Powerhouse in Brisbane over three days in June. It was a blur of amazing speakers. From established names, like Chris Do from The Futur, Tea Uglow from Google, and Mills from UsTwo, to lesser known artists and illustrators like Kelly Anna, Martina Martian and Mercedes Bazan. Everyone who attended the conference left incredibly inspired.

Supporting and growing the design community is one of the pillars of Streamtime’s mission. So we’re proud to sponsor the event. And this year we represented in full force with a number of discussion panels, breakout sessions and a lot of demos.

Another part of our mission is to make a product that provides great value for our users and allows their business’ to thrive. A product that combines great utility, usability and of course is beautiful too.

During the conference Sarah and I gave a talk entitled ‘Designing a 10/10 Product’. We spoke at length about what it takes to design great digital products and if it was possible to create a perfect one.

In this blog series we’re going to share our thoughts from our talk, by showcasing 10 rules that we believe are vital in designing digital products that customers will love.

Think of it as our Design Playbook.

Let’s start at the beginning

So first things first, we need to rewind and start at the beginning.

We need to start, as Simon Senek is famous for saying, ‘with why.’

Why does the world need this product? What are we trying to do? What problem are we solving for our customers? What real value are we delivering to our users.

Ultimately what is our purpose?

Once we start to answer these questions, our mission and our vision starts to become clear.

And that means we can stand for something.

What do we stand for? In a nutshell we stand for the empowerment of those working in the creative industries.

Now, every good product or brand needs to define their mission.

Google’s mission statement is ‘to organize the world’s information’’. AirbnB’s mission statement is to allow people to ’belong anywhere“.

At Streamtime we’re on a mission to “Defend your creativity”.

Streamtime's mission statement - Defend your creativity

As a mission statement it’s simple and it relates the creative industry. But how are we going to do it?

Well we’re going to make our customers lives easier, simpler, more pleasant, more productive and more enjoyable at work.

If we do it right then it means they spend more time doing the thing they love – being creative. And they’ll dedicate less time, effort and frustration into dealing with the day to day admin of their jobs. The time-sheets, the resourcing and the scheduling of your work.

Taking a creative approach

As creative minded people we solve complex problems with brilliant, creative solutions. We use our design thinking and craft to make beautiful, useful things.

As a creative class, we ask ourselves everyday ‘is this the best way to do this?’

So we believe that it’s our duty to take this thinking and apply it to the tools we use at work.

We believe that project management software shouldn’t have to be so ugly and hard to use.

And if you are reading this skeptically and are thinking ‘how can a piece of software do all of this and make my life better?’ then think about this.

As creatives we do our best work when we are in a flow state. That moment when we are fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement and enjoyment in the process of the task at hand.

Every second our customers spend in this flow state, this creative headspace, is time well spent. They’re happy. Productive. Fulfilled.

We want them to be there for as long as possible. Spend as much of their day there. And we think that they shouldn’t break that flow by having to deal with unnecessary admin. They shouldn’t lose their flow because they can’t log into their timesheet system, or their project management tool is so frustrating to use.

So we’re on a journey to building something better and we’re taking a creative approach.

We call it enlightened software. One that encourages better interactions. Motivates better performance. Celebrates and rewards successes.

One that is not just business enabling, but people enabling too. And we have an ambitious vision on how to get there. But at Streamtime we believe that’s not enough. That we have to go further, do something more.

Have an opinion

As the brilliant James Victore is famous for saying, we need to “have a damn opinion.”

Have a damn opinion and we can make work that matters.

So what’s Streamtime’s opinion?

Well it’s our opinion that as a creative industry we can do a lot better. There are some things that we know, that you know, that we all just accept. And we’re on a mission to do something about it.

So keep following this blog series to find out what we’ve got planned and how we’re going to go about it.

Keen to learn more?

We’re sharing our Product Design Playbook. 10 rules we follow when we design. Head here to read other posts from the series.

Christian Hewitt

Leading all things design at @Streamtime. Instructor @GeneralAssembly. ex @R/GA, ex @ForThePeople.

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