My Design Process

During the past 14 years I’ve learnt to evolve my process to best suit the problem by drawing upon many different techniques and methods.

“If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” 
Abraham Maslow
 

The 5 stages to my current process each include specific techniques and methods as follows;

Discovery

To kickoff a project I firstly want to focus on learning about the client and users. I want to understand as much as possible about their needs, motivations and goals. Which I then translate into; personas, user stories, user journey maps, project requirements and success metrics.

  • stakeholder interviews
  • personas
  • user research
  • user stories
  • user journey maps
  • requirements gathering
  • competitive audit
  • heuristic analysis
  • key performance indicators
  • success metrics

Exploration

Armed with sticky notes and whiteboard markers I start processing the information gathered via collaborative design, sketching storyboards, wire framing user flows and defining the information architecture and content strategy.

  • brainstorming
  • user flows
  • moodboards
  • storyboards
  • sketching
  • wireframing
  • information architecture
  • content strategy

Prototyping

The static wireframes are then brought to life with prototypes to create interactive experiences of the designed solutions that I can take to clients and users to observe their reactions, interactions, pain points and gather feedback. I currently use a combination of InVision, Marvel, Balsamiq and HTML/CSS/JS, however I'm also starting to learn Pixate, Framer, Principle & Xcode to help realise my ideas.

  • low fidelity wireframe prototypes
  • high fidelity prototypes

Validation

Prototypes are then tested with real users to gather both quantitative and qualitative feedback. Multiple solutions are also A/B tested to determine stronger concepts to be further refined. If we find that the solutions don't solve the defined problems as intended then it's back to the drawingboard and revert back to the Exploration and Prototype stages until I have a validation solution.

  • user testing
  • usability analysis
  • A/B testing

Design

Once the prototype has been validated, only then do I move onto refining the visual aesthetic of the experience. This involves designing the user interface elements, branding system, typography styling, iconography, colour palette and imagery.

  • user interface design
  • branding
  • typography
  • visual design

Design Toolkit

My current toolkit used for solving design problems includes;

  • pens / pencils / markers
  • sticky notes (lots of them)
  • paper
  • whiteboards
  • Adobe Suite
  • Sketch
  • Balsamiq
  • Skala Preview
  • Marvel
  • InVision
  • Sublime Text
  • HTML, CSS, JS
  • iA Writer
  • Unity
  • Framer (learning)
  • Pixate (learning)
  • Principle (learning)
  • Xcode (learning)