Feature development framework

Once the Working NYC website launched, we began to plan for the next round of development. As the lead product designer, I wanted to continue to understand and build empathy for our audience and ensure feature development for the site was user-driven. To do this, I created a step-by-step framework to validate and guide ideas to maturity using data and user experience (UX) design.

Step 1

A member of the team or external stakeholder presents a new hypothesis for a feature.

Step 2

The idea can be validated and refined by asking the following questions.

  • Does qualitative or quantitative data support this idea? Is there any observable evidence that our audience is experiencing this problem in previous research, feedback, or analytics? We can check our initial biases and create a more effective solution by examining the data.
  • Does what we know about the problem currently give us a holistic view? We can cast a wider net around the issue by looking at multiple perspectives and talking to our audience and stakeholders about their goals and needs.

Step 3

If our audience is experiencing different problems or are we imposing something that is not helpful to them, refine the idea to match real-world expectations.

Step 4

Ideate on solutions, keeping in mind the following parameters.

  • What is and who has the problem are we solving?
  • What is the expected impact of the feature?
  • What heuristics are we using to guide our decisions?

Potential solutions are documented and presented to the internal team for feedback.

Step 5

Validate and revise the solution further using appropriate UX research methodology.

Step 6

Deliver and observe the feature using analytics to measure its impact.

Step 7

Evaluate the success or failure of the feature. By evaluating, we can demonstrate the value of the process and feature or a need to iterate further.

Missing tools

Using this process would require additional tools and expanding our team's capacity.

The website Feedback component.
Qualitative data streams

I proposed collecting qualitative data through the website to complement our quantitative data collection and worked with the product manager to create multiple feedback forms for collecting users' input about the website experience and content. I then designed and implemented callouts with links to externally hosted forms.

Working NYC User Relationship Manager
User relationship manager

I created a user relationship management tool using Airtable. We use the tool to retain research participant contact information with informed consent, track research sessions, catalog synthesis, and develop nuanced user archetypes.

The NYC Benefits Platform Screening API landing page
Testing tools

We needed methodologies to be available to us to test our ideas, ranging from unmoderated preference testing to usability testing interview guides. I implemented the A/B testing tool Google Optimize and led several usability testing projects creating guides and scripts for recruitment, scheduling, and interview sessions.

Personas of users for the Working NYC website.

I facilitated a workshop with our team to prioritize the most immediate needs for the product collectively. I presented 11 possible features and backlog items we could focus on. Each team member created a proto-persona, and we discussed how each potential feature might address a need during their life experience.

Over time, the framework has become more refined with additional tools that facilitate better UX research. I oversaw the addition of usability heuristics and framework for prioritizing research and methodologies by fellows on our team. We applied this framework to work such as our inclusive design pattern iteration.

Next project

Inclusive design pattern iteration

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