Before beginning any process it's important to have all the facts. I believe that spending a little more time upfront saves a lot of headache down the road.
This is the point when all the information about the company, product, users, competitors, and industry is gathered.
It's important to also poll and interview the target users. Empathizing with users is key to creating value.
One thing that is certain about research - there is always something new to discover.
With all the information gathered, time to synthesize and strategize.
There are numerous techniques that work well for different projects. My favorite include: card sorts, user flows, storyboards, and personas. This helps me create a clear image of who I am designing for and what their interaction should be like.
This information will be used to create the initial sketches and layouts. Armed with a clear picture, user flows, site maps, and wireframes take center stage.
The design phase starts with sketching and ideating. Here is where I look to find the emotional aspects that I want the product to carry.
Visual research, visual exploration of font, type, color, layout, and graphics can add an additional layer of context and aesthetics.
Some deliverables produced during this phase are annotated wireframes, mood boards, style tiles, mockups, wireframes, and UI Kit.
TESTING AND REFINING... AND REFINING SOME MORE...
With the design ideas set, it's time to test and refine. With each cycle of testing and refining, the frames move up in fidelity. Nothing is left to guesswork. Everything is backed up with research and test results.
Depending on the project, testing is conducted in several forms:
- not monitored
Keeping communications open, not only with the client but also with the developers, while reiterating designs will result in a great product without additional headaches.