Iterating my way to a product landing page via user testing with Maze
While working on my side-hustle — Reciprocal.dev (a tool for visualising user journeys and annotating them development data) I realised that there was a higher level issue that gets in the way of teams being able to quickly build shared understanding (what Reciprocal.dev looks to do via it’s visualisations).
Teams that work on building software products, and especially those in larger companies where they may be specialised teams who only handle one part of the process rely heavily on specialised tools to do their work, but usually the other team members don’t have access to these tools.
Instead the other team members rely on a copy of the information that lives in the tools they use and that copy lacks any of the context that surrounds the original information such as links to other resources, notes about the decisions made or questions that have been asked.
An example of this disconnect would be:
- A product team who use a collaborative tool like Miro to work closely with customers to understand the pain points those customers face and how a set of features can make those customer’s lives easier
- A design team who use a design tool like Figma to create a series of screens that illustrate a user journey through an app based on the features the product owners have suggested
- A delivery team who’s Business Analyst takes exported images of those screens to add to a series of tickets in a work item management tool like Jira for the development team to pick up
- A development team who take those exported images and use them to implement the screens into the product by writing code using a development environment like Visual Studio Code and storing it with a version control management tool like Git, adding documentation and testing around that code and deploying that code for customers to use
- A support team who receive release notes and some documentation on how the new feature works who then build up their own set of documentation in a knowledge base tool like Confluence as they handle support calls about the new feature
While the team may be communicating well enough to get the requested feature built they are creating silos of information. As the teams communicate they extract the relevant information from these silos but it’s highly unlikely that teams one or more steps away from…