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Message-First Product Design

By Linsen Loots Jun 14, 2014

The FireWorks team likes building things. Real things with moving parts and nice designs and actual users. Sometimes, however, it’s more effective to show how something works than to actually have it working – especially with brand new products.

With this in mind, we took a different approach to Nimble, our latest pilot. Rather than immediately jumping in and building all the tech, we started by working out Nimble’s message. How does it look, how does it feel, how do we explain it to people. What can we show our client that will let them understand the product and be excited about it.

So we decided that before writing a line of code, we would create a website and a promo video. Of course in true FireWorks style we had a crazy deadline: less than a week before we would show it to a client.

There ensued days of frenetic activity. Customer personas were created, wireframes drawn, app mockups designed, video scripts written, sets were constructed and a whole video was shot and edited. By the end of the week we had a live website live website and a polished video.

Since then Nimble has grown to a fully-fledged pilot with real users and real money. Taking this approach to it has been extremely valuable, however: Starting with Nimble’s message helped us sell it, both to ourselves and to others. It gave us an idea of where it’s headed – a clear vision of why we think it’s cool.

Intrigued? Watch the Nimble video here:

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