While it’s tempting to dive in head first and start designing right away, the key to making a big splash on a project is actually to take a step back and ask -
What problem are we trying to solve for?
The methodology I like to employ to get an in-depth answer to that question efficiently is the Google Design Sprint.
STEP 1 - unpack the problem
In this step, the stakeholders discuss the current state of affairs, how the problem being is currently being solved and why that solutions has been deemed ineffective.
STEP 3 - BRAINSTORM AND SKETCH
After a session of free-form brainstorming, participants are then tasked with bringing an idea into focus in a three panel storyboard.
STEP 2 - HOW MIGHT WE?
Before beginning to come up with specific solutions, it’s important to take a look at the big picture and think about how the problem could be solved without constraints.
STEP 4 - silent critique and vote
The storyboards are then placed around the room so that the entire team can view and think about which solutions might work best. Finally, participants assign dots to their favorite individual elements of the solutions as well as voting for their overall favorites. The solutions with the most dots provide direction for which solution(s) will be chosen to move on to the next step in the sprint process - design.