PROCESS

A LOOK INTO MY METHODS OF DESIGN THINKING

This is a very linear perspective of my process. It merely depicts a series of foundational steps I take to achieve results in any given project. Through these steps, it has proven best to approach projects by breaking them down into manageable blocks. Those blocks aid in keeping users needs and business goals of any given project in the forefront. Allowing me to craft stimulating and strategic design solutions.

(NOTE: Illustrations to come!)

DISCOVERY & IDEATION

This is by far, in my personal opinion, the most important stage of the process. I feel that without it you lose those core elements that end up defining the problem. You can’t find a solution until you have a clear idea of what the problem is and diving head first into the discovery stage does just that. You reach out to experts, map out the challenge, take photographs, gather data, and start projects at the end to help define those long-term goals.

You also begin to come up with ideas and concepts. Let’s be clear, this not sketching and creating the ideas just yet. That comes next. This is just where you are flushing out ideas or concepts by writing them on a whiteboard, post-it-note or whatever helps document those ideas or concepts.

CREATE

This is where those ideas and/or concepts begin to take form. I remix and improve existing ideas, sketch, create wireframes, etc. Really, whatever the project in tells. Whether it be multiple versions of wireframes to flush pain points for users or sketching out an exuberant amount of logo ideas to find that perfect one, this is the stage to get messy with those ideas. 

DECIDE & STORYBOARD

It’s decision time. Yes, we may love more than one design. You may even love them all, but you have to come to a conclusion so that we can move forward. One thing to add emphasis to is that there should be one person, whether it is CEO, VP, or Art Director, who has final say. Someone is going to need to pick a direction. When deciding we have to keep in mind which ideas have the best chance to achieve those long-term goals and/or provide the best solution?

Once a decision has been made I storyboard a step-by-step plan for the next phase in the process, which is building a prototype or mocking up visuals to gain a real world perspective.

PROTOTYPE/MOCKUP

Now that everything has been narrowed down to a few designs or a direction, it is time to either build a working prototype to test, discover and refine or mockup some visuals to provide real world perspective.

·       Prototypes: Allows you to build a rough editable version of a product that is cost effective.
·       Mockups: Allows you to visually see the design in real environments and how individuals interact with them.

TEST

Now it is time to interview customers (Users) and learn by watching them react to your prototype. We present the ideas to as many people as possible: friends, teachers, professionals, and any others we can trust to give insightful comments. 

REFINE

After we have tested the ideas, gathered and recorded the data, we need to reflect and decide if or to what extent it should be incorporated. I have found that it is often helpful to take solutions back through the design process to refine and clarify them. 

LAUNCH

The project has been refined and fine-tuned. It is now time to launch the project and get it out into the real world for everyone to experience and enjoy.