Each project is unique. Timeframe, technical challenges, partner integration and user requirements. My design approach is pragmatic: what tools and methods can we employ to quickly create a design point-of-view that can be tested, receive feedback, iterate and tested again. Depending on the project we can utilize several methods to reach consensus and develop our initial design point-of-view.
Outcome Driven Design
- Define our expected outcome
- What is the current design situation
- Propose a hypothesis and define how to measure and test it
- Design our solution
- Test our solution, learn, iterate and repeat
The Five W's
- Why is this good for the business?
- When does it need to be done?
- Who is this solution for?
- What are we trying to solve?
- Where will this be released?
- List the order in which the experience would operate
- Pivot this based on different user types: guest, contributor, friend customer
- If there is not an order, think about a lifecycle of how the product would be used: first-time, task-based, experienced user, or sunseting of the experience.
- Write down all the ideas around a feature or product
- Bucket them together into themes
- From the themes you can intuit principles
There are dozens of ways of illustrating, documenting and explaining how users navigate, manipulate and understand the mental model of an app or product. Over time I've learned which ones have the most impact in helping make hard choices between content, promotion and utility.
I strive to create artifacts that drive consensus on a shared vision and moved the work forward. I've learned in some cases it's valuable to produce the least level of documentation that will move the product forward. Its not the documentation that matters but agreement on a shared vision of the product.