Planning a Planner, Part II September 10, 2015 07:50

In our last blog post, we went in depth on how we came up with the idea to create a planner, and why we felt validated in making our decision to do so.  Today we're going to talk more about how we came up with our initial pass at a layout.  The first thing that we did was individually make lists of what we felt were the most important things to consider for the planner.  We had meetings to discuss these and make priority lists.  Our goals were: classic design, affordable, simple, appealing to people with different lifestyles.  

From there, we knew we needed to start making some design decisions, so we did what any typical Type A person would do, and scoured information from all the existing planners that we could find.  We evaluated all of the past planners that we still owned (see last week's blog post) and did as much online research as we could to evaluate how each was used, what their functions were, and how we felt about them.  We even went to department stores and looked at everything that was available for purchase there.  We compared prices, layouts, binding, sheet size, orientation, etc.  We knew how we felt about most things and we agreed on almost everything (we really are a good team).  We had ideas for layouts and implemented a few designs.  We met again, discussed the layout, made changes, lather, rinse, repeat.


(Meeting minutes from one of our first planner meetings. Includes some goals, some branding ideas, and our first combined list of likes and dislikes from our planner research.)

We felt really comfortable with the direction we were headed, and were excited with decisions we were making.  But, we also knew that we needed more than just our own opinions if we really wanted to say that this was designed for people in all walks of life.  In order to design something that was going to work for all types of people, we needed to talk to all types of people.  More than that, we needed to understand how they used a planner, and what their preferences were for use. The best way to test our planner and see how it worked for multiple people would be to create a focus group who could use it for a couple of months, and give us honest feedback on how it was working.  Next week, we'll talk about how we chose our focus group members, who they were, and what they thought.

-- Mary Beth and Becky

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