Many great products started from a simple vision. It’s that a-ha moment, the bright spark or epiphany that propels you towards building something bigger than yourself. But what is a product vision, and do you really need it? After all, in this agile world, isn’t everything figured out on the fly? And weren’t some of the best inventions created by accident?

In this article, I will explain what a product vision, mission, strategy, and roadmap is, their importance and how they connect to each other. Each make up an essential building block that cements the foundation of a great product…


Running a design sprint is one of the best ways to do a cross-team collaboration and produce a good solution. But it is resource and time intensive — at least for a week. You’ll need to clear everyone’s schedule, from management to designers and developers to marketers, and basically locking everyone up in a room for 5 days. And the preparation for it would run weeks before.

The prospect of a shorter design sprint sounds more attractive, especially with more people working from home, and in different time zones. …


When designer and researcher Don Norman coined the term user experience (UX) in the 90s, he never expected it to grow into a life of its own. After all, the UX field had been around for hundreds of years already before he gave a name to it. Today, no one in their right mind would design a product without considering the UX.

UX is about how the user feels when interacting with your product, service, and overall brand. We know instinctively whether we loved, hated, or felt nothing within a short period of using a product.

The role of a…


It’s a well-known fact that most businesses fail because they built a product nobody needs. In business, solving a problem is nowhere near as important as solving the right problem. Because creating the right solution to the right problem for your users, is the surest way to make profit.

That’s what problem framing does. When a doctor misdiagnoses a set of symptoms, the result could be fatal for the patient. Likewise, misdiagnosing user problems, could prove fatal to your business.

Problem framing is a process of discovery to understand and define a problem. It is a vital first step in…


The role of a facilitator sits at the foundation of a successful design sprint. As a facilitator, you don’t determine the result or the destination, but you are the North Star in the journey. Whether the group makes it out of the woods in one piece, rests a lot on your shoulders.

If you’re new to facilitating or curious about what’s involved, then read on. I’ve been facilitating for almost 3 years, and I’m still learning new things, especially in this pandemic where design sprints are done remotely.

What does a design sprint facilitator do?

A design sprint facilitator is an MC, timekeeper, coach, and inquisitive detective…


Running your first design sprint can be daunting for anyone.

Maybe your company is small, and it was easy to get people on board. Or maybe you’ve spent weeks convincing upper management to try it out. Or you’ve jumped through hoops to find that one week when everyone’s available.

Either way, you want your first design sprint to be a positive experience for everyone.

I’ve run enough design sprints to know there are many things that could go wrong, so preparation is crucial. In case you missed it, I wrote the basics of design sprint that covers the foundation of…


A concise guide to getting you started in product design

What is Product Design?

Product design is a process to create products that meet your customers’ needs and solve their problems through thoughtful, clever, and universal design.

All the products you love to use daily, whether a physical item, software, or app, are products of good design. It’s how big brands like Apple or Google create a base of loyal customers. Product design is a subset of product management, and many companies use design thinking principles to deliver designs that are feasible, viable and functional.

There is another type of product design for manufacturing…


How to plan, build and test a prototype in 5 days

What is a Design Sprint?

Design sprint is a 5-day structured process to solve a complex problem. And you have a user-validated prototype, or something close enough, by the end of day 5.

Sounds lofty?

Well, not really. It is possible when you put all relevant stakeholders in a room with a set of detailed agenda on how you’re going to tackle the issue, build a prototype and test it with your users.

This method was created by Jake Knapp, a former Google employee, in 2010. He described it as a medley of the…


How big brand names create innovative global products.

What is design thinking?

You may have read a lot of definitions for Design Thinking. People have called it an ideology, a strategy, a systemised process, or even a loose set of guidelines. But many agree on its tremendous power to unlock complex problems and deliver innovative solutions in any industries.

At its core, design thinking is creative problem solving.

One of the hallmark features of design thinking, compared to other problem-solving methods, is its heavy focus on the human users. You’re including users in every, or almost every, stage of the process. …


Final part of ‘How to Build a Design Agency for Under $3K in 5 Years’

Listen to the audio version of this article via Soundcloud below:

If there’s one guarantee in running your own business, it’s that you will be tested time and time again. Although startup founders tend to glorify or gloat about their early struggles, I can tell you that most of the time, it isn’t pretty.

In this wrap-up post for my series on how to build a design agency for under $3000, I’m going to write about the inevitable tests you will face as a…

Alvin Hermanto

Family first // Principal @relabstudios // Customer-obsessed digital design agency // Design sprint advocate // Melbourne // Say hello @alhermanto

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store