Creating a Product Road Map for Aspiration

In our Product Management course, we are learning methods to take a product from wireframe to market. In my last blog post, I overviewed how I met with a developer to procure an estimate of how long it would take to build out the banking app that I have been working designing on the past few months.

The next step on our journey is to downsize our ideal state app design into a minimum viable product (MVP) version of the banking app. We were also tasked with developing a product roadmap to plan out the release of key features and functionalities.

Step 1: Estimate Ideal State. 

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Before trimming anything out of my design to create an MVP, I had to first take stock of my ideal state design and gauge how long it would take to create. You can see that I’ve broken the below table into the main user flows and summed up the number of days required to develop each flow. As you can see, the developer estimated that it would take him almost ten months to build(!) so the next step will be to trim out superfluous design elements.

Step 2: Thin Slice to MVP. 

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Thin slicing is essentially the act of trimming out any components or functionalities in your app that are unnecessary and/or do not deliver value to your user. To thin slice my ideal state app into an MVP state, I went back over my notes from both my conversation with the developer and during user testing to decide which pieces to slice out of my MVP.

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Based on my conversation with the developer, I decided to remove screen 1.04 (see above) because it was simply a loading screen that the user was not able to interact with. This saved three work days for my developer! Since my conversation and estimates with my developer, I had also already revised my “deposit check” flow to reduce development time (see below).

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Finally, I decided to remove the below “Cash Flow” visualization from the spending trends portion of my MVP version of app (see below) because the visualization had mixed results during user testing and caused some confusion for users.

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Step 3: Prioritize MVP. 

After trimming down my design to the MVP,  it was time for me to prioritize which features to start with as I began to create the product road map. I asked myself which flows were essential for a banking app? Which features were most valuable to users?

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Above I prioritized the key features that were needed in order to have a functioning product: login, account balances, and the navigation menu. Next, I prioritized which functionalities were desired by users (depositing checks and transferring money) followed by a less frequent functionality (pay a friend). Finally, I decided that notifications and trend snapshots were “nice to have” but not crucial to the user experience, so these were deprioritized.

Step 4: Product Road Map.

Now that I had all my prep work completed, working on the product road map was actually my favorite part of this experience. I enjoyed testing out a new tool called Roadmunk and created the below roadmap representing the workflows for two developers working on the development of this design.

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While my initial release would be extremely limited and only feature the login flow, checking account balances, and essential navigation features, the roadmap shows three additional releases each layering in new functionalities. All in all, it would take four month-long sprints to fully release my banking app… by which time there will almost be a new cohort of AC4D students beginning the program!