Design & Product Pitch Canvas

{ 🎤 } – To pitch a product idea, design, or even yourself in a job interview


This article was originally published on UX Collective.

Canvases have been all over the place in recent years. They have become a go-to resource in design, business and other fields. I first encountered the Business Value & Value proposition Canvas by Strategizer (Alex Osterwalder), followed by the Team Canvas (Alexey Ivanov & Mitya Voloshchuk). Nowadays, there are even Canvases to create Canvases 😱 (Benoit Dessaucy).

Although they should not be randomly blindly and applied in every case, they might provide a valuable foundation for collaboration, a shared understanding or structure to tackle reoccurring challenges or processes.

Challenge

In a business environment, we are constantly required to present and «sell» our work, designs, ideas or ourselves. The discipline of selling is not exclusive to the job of a so-called salesperson.

As Mike Monteiro rightfully stated:

«Work that can’t be sold is as useless as the designer who can’t sell it.»

When it comes to doing so, we often lack a starting point, forget who we are doing it for or overload our pitch with an endless list of bullet points no one can remember.

Pitch Canvas

That’s where the Pitch Canvas comes in. Although I am pretty sure there are similar approaches out there, I had to do one for myself, as I had found myself a victim of the pitfalls mentioned above many times.

The Pitch Canvas provides you with guidance when preparing a pitch or presentation. It leads you through the relevant components necessary to tell a compelling story and helps you to convey your idea.

Based on and inspired by Petra Sammer’s storytelling principles, UX basics & some marketing lingo bingo, here are the main components of the canvas:

Reason Why

Why are you telling your «story» in the first place? What’s the purpose of your project? What good do you want to achieve?

Persona

Who’s the «hero» (persona) of your story? Whose problem are you solving, and what’s this person’s «job to be done».

Conflict/Problem

What is the initial problem or the conflict you are trying to solve for your persona?

Vision & Big Idea

What is is your «big idea», and how is your product or service going to solve this issue. Describe it in one sentence and make it tangible or visual.

Story Structure

What is the flow of the story? List the key points in a meaningful order following e.g. «AIDA: 1. Grab Attention, Trigger Interest, Create Desire, Prompt Action» or «Story = 1. Hero, + 2. Conflict > 3. Attempt at liberation» (solution).

Creation of Awareness (Emotional Content)

How are you are going to appeal to your audience on an emotional level (address negative emotions: disgust, fear, anger, sadness / provide positive emotions: surprise, joy)?

Virality (Format)

How do you enable your audience to easily access and share your story or content (tangible deliverables, format, channel, sharing options)?

Your Audience (Needs & Goals)

Who is your audience? What are their expectation, needs and goals you want to address to achieve your goals?

Final Thoughts

I have used this canvas at work, and I have introduced it to students for years. It has been helpful as an initial starting point, providing structure and as a tool of collaboration. Treat it as such rather than the holy grail.

Project Canvas A4-PDF Download

Feel free to create a MuralMiroFigma or any other template.

Icon credits to Icons8.


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Dan Nessler / Head of UX @ Hinderling Volkart

Head of UX at Hinderling Volkart and occasional lecturer and writer in the fields of UX and design.

www.dannessler.com/