Shape Up Forum

New to shape up from a traditional design process background

I’m a new designer on a team that uses the shape up methods. I’m curious what if any other more traditional design process assets you may use to support the shaping or building process?

I know that fat marker and breadboarding is important but really i’m curious about what your team might do to help with clarity during the process?

Any info would be much appreciated.

Our devs usually ask for this from designers during a build cycle:

  1. Component designs, so the build team can build a reusable component library in code. So a style guide with spacing, fonts, primitives, atoms, molecules, etc.

  2. Style and accessibility compliance, so before a feature ships, it’s visually audited by the designer so it meets the standards set in 1.

  3. Higher-fidelity mockups if they can’t make heads or tails of a breadboard sketch (e.g. wireframes), or alternative design options as needed to reduce/hammer scope.

  4. Longer term, establishing a pattern language (which isn’t really traditional I suppose) but is helpful in communicating design succinctly. For example, in our product we have defined a pattern called an interruptible that has varying forms but always the same purpose. So when a dev asks “what is this” and the designer says “it’s an interruptible” then a lot of the underlying “rules” of that pattern are quickly communicated.

  5. Definition of UX behavior in edge cases not covered in the pitch, e.g. “What should happen if this [unexpected thing] happens?”

Interested in hearing from other designers though who might be reading this.


Will respond in a bit with our own but curious @nt-from-chicago, you’re referring to what designers are building in-cycle during project execution or out-of-cycle during shaping? If they’re not all the same can you mark them accordingly?


Thanks for pointing out my omissions. My post above was designer stuff only within an actual build cycle itself, and I edited the post to reflect that.

There’s a whole other world of design activities/assets in the research and shaping phases that I totally did not go into. =)


Thanks for the responses. Circling back here for any additional comments. Since I posted we’ve gone deeper into breadboarding and fat market sketches. Looking for any additional comments on other supporting design assets or ways teams are incorporating design assets into the shape up process.