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Design intent

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Did the Governance Team recommend a Design Intent meeting in your team’s Collaboration Cycle Request GitHub ticket? Follow these guidelines to get started.

Don’t have a GitHub ticket yet? You may need to start the Collab Cycle with a Kickoff.

The Design Intent meeting is a recommendation—not a requirement. It helps your team design a solution that meets Experience Standards, and lowers the potential for launch-blocking issues at the final Staging Review.

Watch this video for a quick, high-level overview of the Design Intent meeting. For complete details, read the article below.

What’s the purpose of Design Intent?

The goal of the Design Intent meeting (or “touchpoint”) is to ensure you’re building a product that meets standards before you’ve done any high-fidelity work on artifacts or prototypes.

This meeting is less a formal presentation and more a discussion. It not only provides OCTO-DE and Platform with an early understanding of the product/feature your team wants to build, but is also an opportunity to collaborate and provide feedback on the user experience, your product’s overall design, and on any adjustments needed to meet experience standards. The focus is on making sure the flow makes sense for the user given your constraints.

Preparing for the Design Intent

When should the Design Intent be scheduled?

Schedule this meeting when:

  • You have developed an idea for how to solve your problem statement

  • You have drafted a user workflow

  • You have drafted a lo-fi prototype and/or wireframe

Note: The Governance Team will need at least 2 business days to review your materials. Ensure you provide enough lead time, otherwise the meeting may need to be rescheduled.

What artifacts will be needed?

Artifacts are anything that will help the Governance Team and OCTO-DE understand your product, e.g. wireframes, user flows, etc.

Additionally, make sure you clearly define and communicate the scope of your product. Are you creating an entirely new product? Are you only updating one part of a form? Are there any specific areas you’d like Governance team reviews to focus on? Providing this information will help the Governance team streamline their review process.

The following artifacts should be ready and linked in the VFS team’s Collaboration Cycle Request GitHub ticket at least 2 business days before the scheduled meeting.

Required artifact

  • User flow. One of the most important functions of this meeting is understanding your intended user experience. We’re looking for a visual representation of the interaction points and decisions your user will encounter. This user flow doesn’t need to be high-fidelity; a simple flowchart of arrows and shapes is acceptable.

    • Guidance on user flows

    • For help with user flows, reach out to the CAIA IA team through the #sitewide-content-accessibility-ia channel on Slack.

Not required, but nice to have

  • Wireframes. The Governance Team and OCTO-DE aren’t looking for high fidelity at this point, so don’t worry about them being polished.

Optional artifacts

  • Research plan

  • Any other relevant artifacts you may want to share

How to schedule the Design Intent

Follow the steps in your team’s Collaboration Cycle Request GitHub ticket.

  1. Schedule: Use the Calendly link in the Before Meeting > VFS Actions section to select a date for the touchpoint meeting.

  2. Notify: Use the /Collab Cycle Design Intent "slash-command" in your public team channel to notify the Governance Team. Provide information as prompted by the Slack workflow.

    1. If you have difficulty with the Slack workflow, post in your channel tagging @platform-governance-team-members

  3. Add artifacts: Go to the Before meeting > Design Intent artifacts checklist and make sure the requested artifacts are linked.

Please request your Design Intent meeting and provide artifacts at least 2 business days ahead of time so the Governance Team can review your artifacts.

Who should schedule the Design Intent?

No one specific role on the VFS team is required to schedule the Design Intent. However, whoever schedules the Design Intent and notifies the Governance Team through Slack will be responsible for inviting the rest of their team to the scheduled Design Intent meeting.

Who should attend the Design Intent?

The VFS team’s designer(s) and product manager should attend the Design Intent. You’re also encouraged to invite relevant members of your team, such as content, IA, accessibility, QA specialists, and VA stakeholders who will be working on or advising the product.

The Governance team will ensure that the relevant Platform and OCTO-DE participants are invited.

What happens during the Design Intent?

Meeting format

  • 30-minute synchronous Zoom meeting

  • Hosted by the Governance Team

  • Recorded for later reference


Design Intent meetings often follow this format:

  • The Governance Team welcomes everyone to the call.

  • Your team has about 10 minutes to introduce your initiative. We recommend using this time to:

    • Discuss the problem space you are trying to solve for, including any constraints you’re facing.

    • Present your artifacts and walk us through the user flow.

  • OCTO-DE and the Governance Team will ask questions and provide feedback. (They'll also provide you with written feedback through Github after the meeting).

What sort of feedback can teams expect?

After you present your artifacts and explain the user flow, OCTO-DE and the Governance Team will ask questions and provide feedback. They may:

  • Recommend applicable Design System components and/or patterns

  • Share relevant insights or flows from other work

  • Recommend changes to the user flow or page structure to meet Accessibility and IA standards.

Remember, this is more of a discussion than a formal presentation. If you have questions you want answered or have questions about the feedback, ask!

After the Design Intent Meeting

After the meeting, the Governance Team will add the link to the recording of the meeting to the Collaboration Cycle Request GitHub ticket.

Governance team design, accessibility, and IA reviewers will document their feedback with GitHub tickets following the Must, Should, and Consider Framework. Feedback tickets will be linked to the Collaboration Cycle Request GitHub ticket and can be found through the associated Milestone. Feedback tickets will be available no later than the end of the next business day following the meeting.

Once the Feedback is provided, you can update your plan & design to conform to relevant Platform standards. You can then move on to the next touchpoint: the Midpoint Review.

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