Design the Marketing First

Jake Knapp states that “build first, market later” is still a common approach today. He shares a simple, but very interesting, exercise on getting the right focus in your design process.

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Each year, when the new version of Encarta was finished, Microsoft would hire an agency to design the box. Looking at the finished product, they’d try to figure out how to convince people to buy the darned thing. It wasn’t pretty. Feature checklists and yellow stickers abounded. Imagine our chagrin when the features promoted on the box didn’t match up with where we’d put the most effort. Why had we bothered to build them in the first place?

For all the details on the excercise you’ll have to read the article itself, but here are the main steps:

  1. Create a marketing launch page templatee with one headline and three subheads (12 words each);
  2. Gather examples of launch pages;
  3. Get others to help and include product managers, engineers, and anyone else who’s opinionated;
  4. Set the stage, show the examples, and give people 15 minutes to individually brainstorm or mind-map their ideas;
  5. Write the headlines by givinge veryone two or three blank templates;
  6. Silent critique the work, because launch pages have to stand on their own in the real world;
  7. Start designing.

Read the entire article and excercise at Design Staff.

Jeroen van Geel

Jeroen van Geel is founder/chief kahuna of Johnny Holland and the interaction director at Fabrique [brands, design & interaction], a Dutch multidisciplinary design agency. You can follow him on Twitter via @jeroenvangeel.

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