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Reference Deck Framework

Each member on the team should use the reference deck framework below to build references for their design concepts that they would like to forward into design expressions. Print out as many frameworks as you need to. Use the following directions to move through this activity.

Build your reference deck

Take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days to build your reference decks. You can pull references from the internet, cut them from publications, take photos and print them, draw them, or otherwise record them. Accompany your references with text to describe what contribution the reference is making to the design concept. This is not a collage: it is a thoughtful compilation of real-world examples to show your team mates your ideas.

Decide what concept to forward

Reconvene as a group to discuss and decide on the design concept(s) the team will forward to physical expression. Facilitate the discussion and decision-making through the following steps:

  1. Present your reference decks to each other, using the Question Time format from the Diverget Thinking section. Use the Notes framework to record the name and some details about each proposed design that the team generates.
  2. Silently vote on the expression you would like to forward to a low fidelity prototype. If there is a tie and you have time and bandwidth to forward more than one expression, do so. The additional thinking will result in a better, more meaningful design solution for participants.
  3. If you do not have time or bandwidth to forward more than one design expression, discuss the possbilities through the lens of your project constraints and decide as a team on the best expression to forward.

Example Reference Deck: Telehealth Toolkit

The Telehealth Toolkit is a prototype knowledge-sharing repository designed for the Office of Telehealth in the Veterans Health Administration. This reference deck uses examples from several well-known, well-organized sites that share knowledge in different ways. Multiple ideas for the Toolkit are described by the aspects of each site that is highlighted.

This deck is from the very beginning of the design team's design phase for this digital product. At the beginning of the design process, the deck refers to the product as the “Genius Bar”; however, the final name is the Telehealth Toolkit. This change is typical of reference decks. Because they’re begun so early in the design process, they’re often called by different names from the final name iteration, since the information and references that decks contain are simply the starting point for the iterated design process.

One of the members of the design team made this deck so that they could communicate their ideas for the toolkit (or Genius Bar) to other team members. Making this deck has nothing to do with a knowledge of user experience coding or layouts; it has to do with understanding the synthesis of research that the team had performed during the Discovery Phase. The design team member searched the internet for examples of what they thought should be built to solve for the participants' needs, then compiled those examples into this deck.

Telehealth Toolkit reference deck page 1. Text reads: Genius Bar: What: an informational asset comprising FAQs and guidance for Telehealth options. Who: FCTs, MyHealthEVet Coordinators, Preceptors, Master Preceptors, Champions, Leads, other Telehealth super users. Why: to ease and systematize the conversation about options for caregiving via telehealth and provide a reference for providers considering the use of Telehealth. Keywords: web-based modular updateable modern beautiful utilitarian Click to enlarge the above image Telehealth Toolkit reference deck page 2.Text reads: inspiration: FAQs, Medium https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/sections/203019068-FAQ Arrow pointing to Medium website's breadcrumb is labeled: clearly delineated user path. Arrows pointing to Medium's FAQ main page as well as to one of the FAQ answer pages are labeled: Simple question to answer flow. Additional text on the deck's page reads: Considered: typography white space plain language Click to enlarge the above image Telehealth Toolkit reference deck page 3.Text reads:inspiration: Welcome, Medium. https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us: modern, simple, clean, modular. Arrow labeled Additional concept:end of guidance path prompts action points to a button labeled Get Started at the end of the welcome page. Click to enlarge the above image Telehealth Toolkit reference deck page 4. Text reads: Additional inspiration: Airtable https://support.airtable.com/hc/en-us. Includes screen shots of Airtable's Guide to Airtable, Airtable Overview, Airtable Support page, and Airtable templates page to show the flat illustration style and tile-based layouts used by Airtable in their support pages. Click to enlarge the above image Telehealth Toolkit reference deck page 5. Text reads: Additional inspiration: Airbnb https://www.airbnb.com/help/getting-started/how-it-works. Images are of various Airtable How To pages. The screenshots show a minimal side navigation bar with child pages dropping down below parent topics. Click to enlarge the above image