Every projectis a unique journey requiring a unique, tailored approach. I customize my process to meet the needs and scope of every project to achieve maximum effectiveness and the best result. However, I guide my design practice from start to finish along the following basic stages:
I start every journey by answering “where are we?” Begin by understanding the problem you’re trying to solve, and why. A process of discovery and thorough research will reveal the business goals, competitor landscape, product ecosystem, target users. From these insights, I understand how to situate your product and its features in a place to succeed now as well as imagine how it will continue to succeed in the future.
Once we know where we’re going, we need to figure out the best way to get there. By developing product and content strategies, I begin to frame out the shape of the project. I build personas of target users and identify their core needs and user journeys to map out how to effectively meet their needs in ways where competitors have failed. I identify the metrics and standards by which to validate success at each step of the process.
This is where I like to brain-storm—take what we learned from the previous stages in our process and begin mapping out potential solutions. Whether I am sketching out experience flow diagrams on a white board or arranging feature set priorities on post-it notes, I like to start at a low-fidelity to let the best ideas emerge freely.
The design phase is where it all starts to come together. Leveraging the experience maps and user journeys created earlier in the process, I begin designing low-fi wire frames to establish the UX flow. With increasing fidelity, I establish an ever-clearer interface, always validating my design decisions against research findings anditerative testing.Then, I create prototypes or visual mockups layered with a clean design aesthetic. By focusing on the experience and interaction patterns early, we can be confident we are delivering a compelling experience through an intuitive, pleasing interface.
Now that we have a well-packaged, cohesive design, Ivalidate myassumptions and design decisions through testing. There are a variety of approaches to validating a design either qualitatively or quantitatively, and often I use a mixture of both to measure usability, engagement, and effectiveness. It’s great to build an interactive prototype (and I have in many cases), but you can still gain a lot of insight from “low-tech” testing—even with paper prototypes! Problem-solving is all about working around and over obstacles to create unique, compelling solutions!
Nothing is more exciting than seeinga project get delivered and built. Once all of the iterative researching, brain-storming, designing, validating, and re-designing hard work is through, I love to see something I’ve helped make possible come to life either on a responsive website, native platform, or in the app store. Of course, this is where the *real* test begins, and the best products are never completely “finished”. Technology and the expectations of customers are always changing—that’s why I love it!