Basic discovery questions (pt 1)

Set of basic foundational questions to help a UI designer (or user researcher) get up to speed on a project, focused on understanding the core functionality, primary user goals/tasks, and targeted scenarios of use. These questions are meant as a good baseline starting point, and are not comprehensive nor exhaustive!


FUNCTIONALITY: What does this product actually do

Below is proposed a more granular breakdown of PRD-itemized functionality, beyond “Mandatory” and “Highly Desired”, with more meaningful terms (for designers)

** Priority **
P0 – Non negotiable. It isn’t a functional product without this feature.
P1 – Critical. Product can initially exist without this feature but not for long.
P2 – Differentiating feature. May provide significant usability/marketing value.
P3 – Nice to have.
∅ – Considered but dropped.

** Function Name **
The unique identifier by which a task will be known. Best stated using verbs like: Maintain, Search, Review, Modify and Initiate.

* Internal FunctionName – The name given in development.
* External FunctionName – Optional – name given after the fact by marketing.
* Competitor’s Names – Optional – Competitors names for like functions so that readers can research them.

** Description **
* Basic – Text stating what data and actions are required as well as results.

* Reason – Statement if functionality needs clarification outside of the Mission Statement. Motivation, rationale, purpose and goal.

* Dependencies – List/description of other functions required for this to exist.

** Other Measures **
While not necessarily assisting in the design process the following are useful in understanding the functions relevance.

* Person Hours – Effort involved
* Requirement Categorization – Functional, Usability, Marketing, All
* Version – If something gets pushed, what version it is expect to be put in.

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