4 min read
Mitchell Pousson II / July 21, 2020
The chicken scratch drawings on the whiteboard, the day long workshops that seem to go nowhere, and of course, the constant back & forth conversations that diverge collective vision more than they align.
If you work in software development, you know just how frustrating gathering product requirements can be.
It's an uphill battle to say the least.
That's why we created an online tool that makes gathering product requirements easy.
It can be used independently
collectively in a team setting.
Instead of spending hours discussing & deciding on the details and functionality of the product, we dive right into it from the very start.
After launching the tool, you can either enter a POV problem statement or be assigned one depending on whether you are using it independently or in a team setting.
You are then presented with a randomly generated blank wire-frame template.
Once you hit start, the 7 minute timer begins ticking.
You then add descriptions for each component within the wire-frame based on how you envision that element being used within the future product or site.
At the end of the 7 minutes, the finished exercise is saved and stored as a PDF.
If you are doing the exercises independently, you can share your marked up templates with friends and colleagues after completion.
If the exercises are being done in a team setting, the users can review one another's wire-frames and offer comments and feedback in real-time.
As technology consultants, we continuously face the challenge of effectively understanding and communicating our clients' needs.
Since the majority of our clients do not have experience in designing or developing software products, the early stages of the process can feel a lot like pulling teeth.
We figured we couldn't be the only ones who struggle with this vital step, so we set out to discover a better way of gathering product requirements.
When we started brainstorming ideas for the solution, we decided to do a couple of timed exercises filling out wire-frame templates.
Instead of taking the traditional route of wasting hours going back & forth on what the product should look like, what it should do, etc.. we jumped right into it using the randomly generated wire-frames as a guide.
This is a snapshot of Construx in the early stages.
This proved to be extremely effective in not only gathering product requirements but surfacing key insights that otherwise would've been overlooked as well.
We discovered that if you put the same problem statement and template in front of four different people, you get four very different but important perspectives on what the product should do and look like.
Testing this out further, we began randomly generating different templates and then filling those with descriptions during timed exercises.
Before we knew it, we had the early stages of a product mock up in little to no time at all.
Prototyping quickly, and frequently, is the best way to test your assumptions, learn about users, and improve on your ideas.
We contribute much of the tool's success to Tim Brown's Design Thinking, in which he discusses the benefits of prototyping quickly. Our hope is that this online tool will offer dreamers the exercises needed to harness their vision while also clarifying key insights. Whether you're a product manager, designer, or an average Joe with a million dollar idea, this tool will help you gather those fickle requirements.
The results so far have been truly amazing and we are beyond excited to see what you and your team come up with employing this free and easy-to-use tool.