We kicked off the project with a deep-dive strategy meeting. The court reporting industry is a
traditional industry which is ripe for innovation.
The industry is highly specialized and
therefore, we spent a lot of time upfront learning as much as we could about the court reporting
profession, the professionals who work in the industry, how they interact and collaborate with
each other, what they do on a day-to-day basis, etc.
The foundational understanding of the industry allowed us to pinpoint the main problem Stenovate
should tackle: the convoluted and inefficient process which court reporting professionals have
been using for over a decade to work together.
Stenovate, therefore, needs to position itself as
a standard and convenient collaboration tool for court reporting professionals.
This positioning acted as our north star; every feature we consider needed to make collaboration
more intuitive and convenient for court reporting professionals. Using this strategy, we began
to prioritize features which align with our focus and backlog feature which don’t.
systematically, we created a lean feature list, one that would empower Lauren to clearly convey
Stenovate’s value proposition and would also be quick and easy to execute on.
Leaning down on the feature list provided us with wiggle room in case unexpected setbacks occur.
Sure enough, an unexpected setback occured: the funding Lauren was expecting for the first round
of development of Stenovate did not come.
With this major development, we had to rework our
entire strategy given the new project constraint.
Without the investor funding, Lauren needed to bootstrap, which meant we needed to figure out a
way to work efficiently within a project budget much smaller than we originally planned.
moving forward with both design and development was no longer feasible, we decided to focus
entirely on design with the same exact same goal in place: to create a visual prototype which
would empower Lauren to clearly convey Stenovate’s value proposition and would also be quick and
easy to execute on.
The new strategy allows us to: produce something pitch-ready within the timeline and budget
constraint, clarify how Stenovate works to prepare for the development project in the future,
and give Lauren a powerful tool to pitch to investors and raise funding between the design and
the development phase.
“You guys went above and beyond, with sitting down with me pretty frequently to really flush
things out. And so you’ve abided by the contract, even though I think that you guys went so
far above and beyond what was in the contract. And that whole experience was really
Lauren was a bit of a perfectionist, which lead to her being the most involved client we ever
had on this type of project.
At Lean Start Lab, we always put an emphasis on simplicity and
speed when it comes to our designs. We strive to build products that are functional, beautiful
and user-friendly, and Lauren got a first-hand look at how we do that.
Having already defined the main use cases for Stenovate the next step would be creating a
comprehensive flowchart for the step by step user journey on the platform.
With Lauren’s help, we
also designed extensive processes detailing how to onboard a user, how to create a transcript,
and how to invite others to collaborate.
From there moved to hand sketching elements and screens. We discussed the screen layout and
button placement as well as the overall presentation style Lauren was looking for.
were all decided, we moved onto wireframing her application to create a blueprint that the
designer could follow to create the high fidelity designs of Stenovate.
When it comes to designing high fidelity screens, we prefer to have a style guide ready to work
with prior to starting. Due to the ambitious timeline, we had to hit Stenovates milestones, we
began designing in grayscale.
This decision allowed us to do the designs while Lauren worked
with the Stenovate marketing team to create the style guide.
The finalized designs and style
guide would be completed roughly in tandem, allowing us to add the perfect splash of color to
Stenovate just in time for our deadline.
“Seeing your idea come to life, actually getting something on a computer screen that looks
really, really nice, is by far the most exciting part of bringing your concept to fruition.”