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Product Design

Approach your projects like building Lego

Oct 16, 2022
Product Design
When presented with a large project, you think about the end goal. The vision. But how do you get there? Where do you start?

In 2021 I was the lead UI designer for an insanely large project with four other designers. It was an onboarding platform and Customer Relationship Management system for an insurance company. The project came with a tremendous amount of unknowns and we only had 6 months to deliver the designs over to the development team. Needless to say the project overran by a further six months! Although we could see the vision. The delay was due to us trying to tackle what appeared to be a very complex problem all at once - without fully understanding all the nuances in the product.

Do you remember when you opened your first Lego set? You can see the finished item on the front cover of the box. When you open the box, all the pieces are separated into smaller bags. Along with an instruction manual. 

Using this lego set as a metaphor.

  • The box is your vision
  • The pieces are the components that make up your project
  • The instructions manual is how you’re going to deliver the project 

If you try and build the Lego set without using the manual - the final item may not end up as what appears on the front cover. What Lego do brilliantly - in the manual they show linear steps, that guide you on how to build each section of the final set. Creating manageable milestones. This technique also allows you to focus on what’s most important. Completing each milestone gets you closer to achieving the end vision. 

The next time you start a project. Consider how your project can be created when you approach it like building a Lego set.