As designers, we want to put every amazing feature and wonderful function into our products, right?
But the only question is…where should you start?
A good designer knows how to design, but a great designer also knows how to prioritize.
If you’re looking for where to start with the features you want for your product, you should try using the priority matrix.
If you want to download the free priority matrix we’ve made, you can do so here.
What is a Priority Matrix?
A priority matrix is a visual tool that helps you determine the value of potential features. It lets you measure the amount of effort needed to implement each feature and see how much impact each feature will bring to users.
Let me note that there are different kinds of priority matrices, but this is the version we’ll be talking about.
What is a Priority Matrix?
There’s are multiple reasons for using a priority matrix.
With this tool, you can visualize which features to do and in what order. It’s a way to think outside of the box in order to find the potential value in the features you want to design.
On top of this, a priority matrix will help you save time. It helps you think of how much effort will be put into each feature on your list and how to organize them into an achievable order quickly.
If that isn’t enough, it’s a good way to get everybody on your team to see why you choose to do which feature and when. It will put everyone on the same page from the very beginning, and if someone wants to veer off course, you simply point them to the matrix.
How to make a priority matrix
First, you want to write down a list of the many features you want to create. They don’t need to be in any particular order; you simply want to get everything put down on paper in one place.
Next to each feature, give it a score between 0 – 10 for the effort by your business (with 0 meaning no effort and 10 meaning great effort), and a score between 0 – 10 for the value to the user (with 0 meaning no value and 10 meaning great value).
Plot the features according to their associated numbers. The y-axis should be used for the impact, or value added to your users, while the x-axis should be used for the effort required. The higher the number, the further up or right the feature should go, respectively.
Now you can prioritize your features according to their locations. The top-left should be the first place to start because of the high value it brings and the low amount of effort it takes.
After that, you need to decide between the top-right and bottom-left corners. The top-right sector will end up being large projects that have a great impact, but the bottom-left sector will quick projects with lesser impacts. The choice is up to you between these two corners.
However, you should do the bottom-right corner last because they are both not very valuable by users and require lots of time to complete.
Now that you’ve made your priority matrix, you should be ready to tackle the tasks ahead with everyone on your team agreeing ahead of time with what should come next.
Once again, you can find our free priority matrix to help you here.
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