Breaking rules in your product design process



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Today’s product teams are built to move fast and ship products, from the practices they use to solve problems, to how seating pods bring disciplines together. Process and guidelines set the foundation for how teams work. 

But when folks start referring to these guidelines as rules, the evolution of our practices slows down. Product teams need to figure out when to break the rules in their pursuit of building better products.

We invited Dom Goodrum, VP of Design at Percolate, to give us a DesignTalk on 5 practices his team uses to evolve their product design process.

Watch Dom’s full talk below, or read on for our short recap.


We need to chat

At the start of 2016, Dom’s design team sat him down. They wanted to open up their design process to push their craft and improve the product quality.

“Product teams need to figure out when to break the rules.”
Image: Percolate.

Image: Percolate.

Before unpacking the improvements, Dom discussed the beginning of Percolate. In 2011, the company had an initial product and had big dreams to build onto the functionality. So, they designed a 10-step product development process to align design, engineering, and product management—and it helped the team grow from 5 customers in 2011 to more than 800 in 2016

Percolate’s 10-step product development process 

  1. Brief
  2. Research
  3. Low-fidelity
  4. Scope
  5. Visual
  6. Code
  7. QA
  8. Code review
  9. Testing
  10. Deployment

Dom’s team decided to break the rules in 5 different areas of the process. After all, when processes begin to feel like rules—and when rules meet tension—there’s a perfect opportunity to experiment. To hear how they navigated creative experiments on design groups, design partners, a component library, visual design, and design specs, I encourage you to watch the recording above!

After all, Ileana said it best!

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Margaret Kelsey
Margaret Kelsey leads content marketing at Appcues. Before Appcues, she built content programs for InVision’s design community for 3.5 years and has roots in painting and PR. She’s a big fan of puns, Blackbird Donuts, and Oxford commas—probably in that order.

Keep up with me on and .

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