At Comcast, there’s an acronym we use for the First Time User Experience: FTUE. It has become a driving principal in the design of our products over the last few years. Every app, website, or TV experience we craft pays special attention to this critical first impression. 

The FTUE is the introduction a user has to your product. Depending on where a user is in their customer journey, it could be a marketing page with an elevator pitch video or an account creation step. It could be a user choosing key settings before getting started, like language or time zone, an overlay highlighting the product landscape, or contextual tips on how to use the product. 

With Xfinity Home, we typically start our discovery phase by gathering data and then sketching out ideas. Many times, a simple deck would emerge to tell the story of our hypothesis: the landscape, the challenges, and the opportunities we discovered. As designers, we often can't help ourselves but to illustrate the concept. The illustration may consist of sketches, storyboards, concept designs, or even a prototype. That experience helps us get to the heart of the concept. 

Recently, my team was working on a concept for a product and we illustrated the FTUE to explain it. We started with product marketing, account creation, and set up to arrive at the hero use case. Along the way, we generated new ideas that we might not have thought of until much later in the process, ideas that made the concept even stronger. 

Each project is different, and design processes and philosophies evolve faster than people can write books about them. The next time you're trying to explain an idea or illustrate a concept, put yourself in your users shoes and design the FTUE first.