Start With The End In Mind

Start With The End In Mind

Start with the end in mind. <— Answer this question from the beginning.

For your team’s project flow, base every design problem into a specific Job or Project. This will allow you to parse out your team’s attack on solving these problems systematically.

Write down the following:

  • Triggering event (or situation)
  • The motivation or goal of your project or solution.
  • The Intended Outcome

If you like to put things in sentences, this helps:

When ______, I want to _______, so I can ______.

When I receive a message on my phone, I want to be able to respond without opening the app, so I can be more efficient.


When I go to the bank, I want to get my money out of my account in less than 10 minutes, so I can go on with my life.

Now you must structure the system you will build in order to accomplish the sentence you’ve just penned.

  • How do the intended users interact with the _____ (solution, app, etc)?
  • Don’t be afraid to iterate.
  • Once the outcome, system, and interactions are well defined and working (prototyped), then design the visual details.

The beauty comes in at this point. 99% of designers jump right in and begin focusing on the last step without ever going through Steps 1-3. Take a minute and start with the end goal in mind.

(photo via andrew hurley)