Let’s Talk Strategy: Our Journey to Embracing a Design-First Approach.

Edi Bianco
Chief Design Officer
We’re peeling back the curtain to share our story on why we made the switch to a design-first strategy, offering a sneak peek into our current design process, hoping it might spark some ideas and insights for others.
Let’s Talk Strategy: Our Journey to Embracing a Design-First Approach.

Two years ago I joined Amplifi Labs, a young dev shop with some unique flairs and empathy at its core. My mission? To dive into the challenge of building a design culture and team right here in-house.

What hooked me was the founders’ vision. John and Paulo were already steering towards innovation and excellence, fully aware that continuous evolution is a must for dev shops. Even with an engineering background, they had this crystal-clear intuition that design played a pivotal role in the organization’s improvement. So, I set out to find skilled professionals who fit the culture, laying down some ground rules to seamlessly blend design and development.

Right out of the gate, we all agreed on one game-changing strategy — adopting a design-first approach rooted in the principles of design thinking.

Design-Thinking Magic

Imagine a world where every project begins not with code or complex algorithms, but with a profound understanding of the end-user. That’s the magic of design thinking — a powerful methodology that goes beyond aesthetics to understand the very essence of user needs and challenges. It’s not just about what features users desire; it’s about empathizing with their experiences and creating solutions that genuinely matter. This approach brings a deeper human touch to development, ensuring that every line of code serves a purpose and that every feature planned and programmed addresses a real need.

It calls for a change in mindset that can totally reshape your projects, but trust us, it’s a game-changer. This approach has shown its effectiveness by delivering unparalleled benefits that vibe with customers at every touchpoint and seamlessly blend into the development process.

Mitigating Challenges Early

Ever encountered roadblocks mid-project that could have been avoided? A design-first approach is the compass that steers projects away from such hurdles and helps you learn and grow from small fast mistakes.

Our teams have witnessed these advantages over and over again: by scrutinizing every aspect of the design phase, potential hiccups show up early, and we can tackle and solve them before diving into development. What we’re describing here doesn’t just save time, it preserves resources and sanity. And we care about this because clients aren’t just stakeholders, they are partners in the journey. A design-first approach transforms client relationships.

Open Source Design Process

This is one of the tricks our dev shop picked up to take our offerings to the next level — turning them into more than just solutions but transformative experiences. Success stories started piling up, and the reputation of Amplifi Labs as an innovative partner solidified over time.

Now we want to share with you this holistic design strategy that considers functionality, usability, and the overall user journey, hoping that you may find some valuable insight: take a look at how we structured our design process [Figjam link here] and please, let us know in the comments if you have any suggestion, reflection and feedback to improve it. At the end of the day, we keep learning every day from each other!

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