we're going to solve problems and charm your users together. here's how.
The Design Process is the step-by-step behind making decisions based on real findings. It's how we get from an idea to reality. It's the difference between feeling in control, or out of sync with your final outcome.
I don’t just follow this process once, I set your team up with the ability to continue this process after I'm long gone. Whether that means documentation, guideline documents, workshops, template repositories or something else, I get a kick out of leaving every team better and more empowered than I found it.
My goal isn’t to get you to keep hiring me back (although that’s nice too!) but instead to provide what's needed to help you maintain a consistent experience. I want us to make your product, and your team, better together.
So what's the process?
1 / Discover
What do we want to build? Who are we building it for, and what market are we building it in?
This is where we identify stakeholders and audience, gather initial ideas, and talk about what everyone involved wants to accomplish. The umbrella term "research" can include any combination of things, depending on what’s appropriate for the project. Often, this can include:
Market Analysis: Who are we competing with? How close are our product offerings, and who does which part better?
Demographic Analysis & Personas: Who is our audience? What are they like? Why would they use our product? Are we trying to change their behaviour?
SWOT Analysis: What are our project’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
Stakeholder Feedback: Conversationally vetting ideas among a wider group of stakeholders
Focus Groups: Even before we’ve wireframed, it can be helpful to speak to our audience and gather thoughts that are pure untouched perception.
Common outcomes of this phase include feature lists, KPIs, rough wireframes, analytics reports, archetype profiles, and personas.
“Insufficient facts always invites danger.”
— LT CMDR Spock
2 / Inspire
Based on the research we've gathered, we'll narrow down ideas and start getting creative. Holding brainstorming sessions and workshops is a great way to get everyone's ideas on the table. This often includes live whiteboarding and idea generation games. The sky is the limit here!
3 / Plan
What features should we include? How do they work? What do they look like?
The goal of this stage is to identify what we need, what's nice to have, and what plays nicely with the resource we have to bring the project to completion. We'll narrow down all the ideas into an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). What really needs to be in the app for version one for it to work? What needs to be there for it to stand out in the market and be lovable?
From there, we’ll wireframe and determine the screen flows. We will also gather inspiration for UI design and create workable prototypes. Depending on budget and timelines, his might include either a very thin layer of UI in the form of a Design System, or full mockup-style designs.
We’ll test flows with users to get feedback to observe how they interact with what we're proposing. The main goal here is to achieve a solid understanding and confidence of what is being built in the next stage.
“It is not about increase, but about decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”
- Bruce Lee
4 / BUILD
Because of my extensive background in development as well as design, I love being there for my clients every step of the way. I'll produce detailed technical specifications to your development team including everything from wireframes, user flows, use cases, database schema suggestions, etc. If I think it, it goes down into writing!
I often have the opportunity to support development teams through the process, making sure that issues and questions are resolved as soon as they arise. For some projects I even get my hands on the front-end code to ensure that the final product is pixel-perfect. This is a great time to do additional rounds of user testing through the process, until our project goes live.
5 / Ship
Getting the things we've planned out into the wild? Hell yeah! I've taken nearly 40 projects from idea to reality over my career. I think it's safe to say: I'm addicted to that stuff.
6 / Observe
What did we do right? What could we have done better? What’s changed?
This phase can be days, weeks or months depending on the project. We’ll watch analytics, reviews, social media and other sources. This real-life data is used to wrap back around to the the top for your next version or improvement.