The biggest mistake I see amongst product design teams is a lack of a framework to make informed and sensible product decisions.
This wonderful German words means trying to make some better but ending up making it worse.
That’s what happens if there is no framework. The wrong choices lead to the wrong features which lead to the wrong design which leads to worse product.
Any framework is better than no framework
The worst kind of decision making is based on the team’s preferences, thoughts and ideas. If you talk of gut feel or start sentences with “I think” you need a framework.
Making design and feature decisions in this way leads to the most persuasive or well paid persons ideas and opinions dominating. This never ends well.
Choose a product design framework
You will of course already be basing product decisions around business metrics.
A combination of frameworks often works better than one alone as pure business decisions can skew the product into the world of Dark Patterns.
Analytics, user data and MVT. But be careful, this approach can only get you so far.
User need. Traditional user research or something with more structure like Jobs to Be Done.
Psychology. A framework I’m working on. Psychology and the Power of 100.
You can see me talking about each of these approaches in this conference talk: How to Design with Science (and not destroy the Magic).
If it feels like your team are struggling to make the right product decisions think about implementing one or a combination of these frameworks. Any framework is better than no framework, that’s when crazy decisions are made.