The data design guideline: Become a data-driven designer


For a long time, I have been trying or wonder how to get deeper into the data world with an easy approach. However, I found different impediments in different stages such as an organisation not prepared to be data-driven, lack of knowledge at the product team or even some barriers like not budget or time to spend on this matter.

Recently, an ex-colleague, Clara Ibars, asked me to recommend some data courses. So... I've decided to get hands-on with the research in order to create data - guideline for organisations and designers in order to start from scratch.

In this first article, I am going to start with the designer point of view. After that, I will cover the process of starting to work with data with your team (squad). Finally, how to wrap up that at the organisational level.

Products are more complex. This is a fact. The tech industry is not the same like 5 years ago and the role of product designer has been changed. This days, the industry requires talent that has an holistic point of view and they are data aware.

Unfortunately, you cannot do this alone but you can start by understanding one what level your organisation is when data is involved.

Evolution of the data driven company · Christopher S.Penn
Evolution of the data driven company · Christopher S.Penn

By looking at the image above you can understand at which level your business is. Then, let's assume that your company is data-aware. So.. what you can do in order to guide the right conversations? Many companies might have data but not too many people know how to use it or how to build the right culture around it. However, as a designer, you can start working on your squad or side projects and building knowledge around your organisation. By using the following guideline, you will get the basic foundations and driving deeper into different fields. In the end, you will be able to activate certain conversation with your team members, stakeholders and start experimenting with more criteria.

The guideline

For the following guideline, I took as an example this framework:

Framework outlined by King et al (designing with data book).
Framework outlined by King et al (designing with data book).

Starting from the goal and the problem to solve

Knowing on which state your organisation is will be crucial. Frankly is more easy to use data as a designer if you are in a data driven organisation but the process of become could be interesting as well.

In the following resources, you will find content about quantitative methods on UX, understanding business goals, product metrics (pirate ones) and setting up your UX metrics for your next feature.

Something important to keep in mind is that if you don't have previous data, you might need to consider starting from scratch and using qualitative methods or research ones to identify the opportunities and problems around. Here is a list of resources that might help at this step.

Create your hypothesis

So you have clear the product goal clear and you identify some opportunities or problems to solve. Then here is when it comes to the moment of building a hypothesis.

Some ways to frame your hypothesis could be the following one proposed in the book data-driven design. For [user group(s)], if [change] then [effect] because [rationale], which will impact [measure].

When it applies to the hypothesis, writing good ones is key. In the following resource, you will learn how to do it.

Testing your hypothesis

There are several ways to test to hypothesis, either with quantitative data or qualitative data.

Here I've included some articles that provide an overview of the A/B testing and also will show you how to move down into the different types of A/B testing and how to refine them.

Measuring your results

Finally is the time to measuring your results. There are different ways to review the results. Combining heat maps and metrics can be a good approach to see how your experiment when and get conclusions.

On the following resources, I've proposed some resources that might help you to evaluate the ROI of your UX designs.

Additional resources



Additional training

Hope you like it and if you have any question. Please ask me on one of my channels or in the comments below. Also if you have any other suggestion, please share it 🙂

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