Renude is a startup aiming to create tailored skincare routines for people. It has joined Founders Factory venture studio process as a very early untested concept. There was no product or any users. My goal was within 6 months bring this concept from idea to a product in users' hands. The core team consisted of two co-founders, product designer (myself) and a developer.
The mission of design thinking process is to translate observations into insights and insights into products and services that will improve lives.
I love frameworks, as I believe they enable you to think faster. Good framework also encourages you to switch from an intuitive, informal, and automatic approach to solving problems, to a reasoned, structured, and manual approach. Rather than solve problems based on what may instinctively come to mind, which leads to the pitfalls, you deliberately and rigorously attend to stating, structuring, and solving them and pitching your solutions.
Three stages of the design process. It not a linear process.
For this and other projects I use a classic design process that could be divided into the three stages i.e. alignment, problem and solution. Although, there is some order to it, in large part it is a non-linear, iterative process. For example, you'll often revise a problem statement based on what you learn during your efforts to structure it. Often, in the light of new information, there is a need to come back and get further re-alignment. Although, having a process has many advantages that I've mentioned before, I try not to see it from a "check-list" perspective and if needed take more flexible approach.
The first question may not be "What is the problem?" but "Do I know enough to state the problem?"
Before begging any project, I always ensure that I am aligned with stakeholders on the goals and have visibility of any work previously completed. As Renude was in its infancy there was no previous product work done. Therefore, initially I've spent several sessions with the founders aligning on their vision, looking at the competition as well as considering the wider business picture through the lens of Business Model Canvas.
<aside> 💡 Renude creates personalised skincare experiences by combining computer vision & clinical expertise to empower a smarter consumer
Renude from the beginning had a clear market positioning, differentiating it from the rest of its competitors.
Renude's competitive landscape map
Renude saw its differentiation points form the rest of the products by giving recommendations from the large pool of proven cosmetics brands unlike Skin Me and Atolla who develop their own custom formulas. Also, Renude saw a potential in using data to drive personalised product recommendation unlike other competitors which lack the personalised approach.
Design function operates in the wider business context. I use Business Model Canvas as a structured approach to build a zoomed out picture of the business. Although, from a product design perspective the main areas of focus would fall into the 'Unique Value Proposition' and 'Customer Segment' areas, it is important to understand other sides of the business as those could have a great influence on the product decisions.