I think to clarify objectives, set goals, and provide intention.
Because design is a human-centered activity, I think through real problems that people have to set a clear intention for my work. While my process differs from project to project, the following areas outline my general method for practice.
I begin any project by fully thinking through the problem context and outlining constraints. Defining the problem consists of understanding what the issue is, why the issue exists, and who the issue effects.
Studying the audience, their needs, and what they deem important is critical for me to understand the objective. Gathering both qualitative data and qualitative research are key to my assessment.
Aligning with stakeholders on the problem and audience helps identify short-term and long-term goals. I work to determine the hypothesis, scope, and schedule for the project.
With the objectives agreed upon, I brainstorm ideas, quickly sketch out concepts, and wireframe workflows with paper and pixels.
Building off of the initial concepts, I design applicable workflows and apply visual details. In addition, I prototype interactions to test usability.
Getting feedback early is essential for my process. I meet with stakeholders at this point to critique work, discuss heuristics, and get alignment on project direction.
Determining how the audience responds to the design is a critical phase. I check test results against the problem hypothesis and initial objectives.
With testing feedback in mind, I rework specific aspects of the design. This refinement often leads me back to the composing stage, and again through presentation and testing. When the audience responds well to the problem, I deliver the design in the desired format.
Once the design has shipped, I analyze initial results, discuss with stakeholders, and the investigation begins again.