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A design reset (part I)

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the importance of design resets for software products, particularly when a product has evolved significantly over time. It highlights the concept of "design debt" and the need to address it through major redesigns every 2-3 years. The article also emphasizes the importance of having the CEO and leadership team behind the redesign project, as well as the strategy of starting with a "concept" design to get buy-in before transitioning to the actual implementation.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] A design reset (part I)

1. Why are redesigns important for software products?

  • Software design is not timeless, and products often accumulate "design debt" over time as they evolve and add new features
  • This design debt needs to be addressed through major redesigns every 2-3 years to maintain an excellent product experience
  • Waiting too long to address design debt can lead to a negative user perception and open up opportunities for competitors

2. What are the challenges in executing a redesign project?

  • It's difficult to make a redesign a priority, as there is no clear ROI
  • Redesigns can negatively impact metrics in the short term, leading to resistance from teams
  • It's hard to convince everyone around the table to support the redesign

3. How can the CEO and leadership team help with a redesign project?

  • The CEO's support is critical to provide the necessary air cover and ensure the project is taken seriously
  • Tying the redesign to a larger company shift or directional change can help justify the project and get leadership involvement
  • Leadership can provide valuable input on the company's future direction to guide the redesign

[02] From concept to yes

1. How do you get started with a design reset project?

  • Start with a standalone team to explore a "concept" design, which is bolder and less constrained by practicality
  • Presenting the design as a "concept" makes it less likely to be attacked, and allows it to become more familiar and easier to say "yes" to over time
  • Eventually, the concept needs to become a real, implementable design

2. How did Linear approach the transition from concept to implementation?

  • The article mentions that Linear will cover this in Part II of the series, but does not provide details in this part.
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