The 720 degree model

Working with digital products takes many forms. Although a lot of them look alike, hardly any good products or services are built in the same way. No teams are the same, and no company follows the exact same path. Working as a freelancer and consultant you learn this fast, needing to quickly adapt to different workflows and team structures.

So, I want to share a bit about how I perceive a good process, and how I fit in working with others.

My work tends to follow a model I call the 720° model. It starts with an Analysis phase, followed by Design and Implementation, and ends with a Follow up. This can manifest in short sprints or month-long collaboration. Some times it repeats and some times it's simply a one time operation.

1. Analysis
3. Implementation
4. Follow up
2. Design

For smaller projects, I sometimes do all four stages, including the full implementation on my own. Mostly in readily available platforms such as Webflow, WordPress, Shopify, etc. For bigger projects, sometimes I join development teams for the implementation phase as Product Manager or Product Owner. For some projects, I do just the analysis and design phases. It can be on my own doing all aspects of the design. Or focusing mainly on the UX Design working with a design team or other experts.

I enjoy also being included in the follow up phase at the end for a project or a cycle of design and development, as I believe that no design job is properly done before it's in actual use by the real people it's intended for. In this phase, it might be about looking at data, traffic, and traction. And about tweaking and finetuning final deltails. It might also lead to starting the 720-degree process over again, based on the new insights and assumptions being validated or not.

It's where the key lies to building sustainable and lasting projects, what I like to call 'stories without endings': Projects that are constantly revisiting the beginnings, wiser for each time.

Analysis phase illustration

1. Analysis

The first phase of any project is about understanding where we should start and where we want to go. Who are we designing for? What are their jobs-to-be-done? What is the market? Who has a say along the way?

What is the scope of our efforts? What does it take to get us from 0 to 1? And to eventually land somewhere we would regard as a success?

Design phase illustration

2. Design

The design phase can begin. We dive into the work. Synthesizing research and refining understanding. Sketching and prototyping. Establishing principles guiding our work. Responding to assumption and insights.

It's trial and error. Until we eventually land at something we feel good about and confident will meet user needs and solve the initial challenges of the project.

Implementation phase illustration

3. Implementation

Now, that we know, what we need to do, it's time to do it. Efficiently, focussed and with a clever sense of what needs to be prioritized and when.

We need to have the rights skills in place: Front-end backend or all in one with a no-code approach.

As an experienced product director I can help make the hard choices and adjustments along the way and make sure we stay on track and bring the design to life.

Follow up phase illustration

4. Follow up

No design is ever finished before it meets its audience and starts being used. Meeting audience demands is the ultimate measure of success for projects with a product/market fit and in a position to scale.

For early-stage projects it might be simply a proof-of-concept prototype or a functional minimal viable product. Regardless the project size, an evaluation is needed to understand how to proceed in new and wiser way.