This model, created by Peter Merholz of Adaptive Path and Groupon fame, best represents the product design process in a way that’s both complete and digestible. I wish I’d seen this when building out our process at Appiphony a few years ago.
Peter mentions creating it to clarify the full extent to which the design team is involved, and that definitely resonates with me. The piece I keep needing to explain is that design does not happen “up front” before “the work starts.” The detailed design of each component is part of the work, and it’s baked into each iteration cycle. The design-related work we do before that is figuring out how many of those components to build and doing the customer research we’ll need to fuel later phases.
Note: this model is only meant to highlight work done by the design team. It under-represents the effort needed by development, QA, marketing and others to actually ship.