Designing a great experience requires rigor, process, and system-level thinking.
A comprehensive approach integrating research, iteration, strategy, business goals, and repeated validation is at the core of developing a great product.
Being able to think out of the box requires a box to start with. Defining the problem and the requirements surrounding it is key to designing a great experience.
I incorporate a wide range of processes (sometimes bespoke) to uncover hidden insights and requirements. These include research, persona development, site audits, competitive landscapes, feature analysis, and storyboarding, just to name a few. Defined requirements and constraints provide a clear path to make informed design decisions that will enhance the overall experience.
B. Ideation & Strategy
Getting on the same page is critical. Strategic alignment is mandatory for an efficient product process.
I work with the client to develop an overarching product strategy using the insights and data gleaned from the discovery phase. Ideation exercises like design studios, card sorting, sketching, white boarding sessions, and workshops provide opportunity for team and client alignment.
C. Interaction Design
Low, high, and everything in between.
This step is one of the most critical in the design process. The findings from Discovery and Strategy are synthesized into a visual form. I begin to define and chart out the overall experience by using a combination of high-level modeling, user flows, storyboarding, wireframes, content blocking, and task scenarios. Stress testing assumptions and insights can highlight tension points early without getting precious about specific designs.
D. Visual Design
This is when the rubber meets the road. The previous steps have gotten us about 80% there, this one will take us over the line.
This step can take many forms. I've worked on a range of projects that have included folding in designs from an existing brand, developing a completely new visual system, or some combination of the two. Regardless of the design foundation I start with, my goals are always the same. Create a beautiful, engaging, and extensible design system that reduces cognitive load and accounts for accessibility.
E. Prototyping & Validation
Test, test, and test again. Our designs are probably wrong...and that’s ok.
Validation and testing is the most effective way to hone a product and uncover tension points. Talking to users early and often will not only validate initial assumptions but can also provide key insights that can turn a good product into a great product.
Pixel perfection, style guides, and consistency.
After validation, iteration, and potentially another round of testing we move into the documentation phase. I work closely with the development team and/or with product managers to ensure a clean handoff. This handoff can include brand guidelines, fully spec’d interactions, motion behaviors and key frames, or any necessary asset that developers may need to create a pixel perfect implementation. Communication and clear direction at this step is critical and something that I excel at.