How I solve problems for digital product
I believe every designers have their own process to deliver their design solutions, we can found so many references out there related to this topic.
I’m writing this post to make my design process more streamlined and clear when I start a project. By having your own playbook I think it will be a good practice, at least for me.
Stage 0: Kickoff
Start with the goals first, by defining what problems that we wanted to solve from the beginning it help me build more empathy for our user regarding their pain points. It’s our job to solve problem.
To make it more fun and collaborative process, sometimes I use Storyboard to visualize and understand the context. Storyboarding help me generate the scenarios that our users might encounter.
Stage 1: Research
I personally stick to Erika Hall’s book Just Enough Research from 2013.
Usually, I start with competitive research and user research, from there we can bring our finding to the brainstorming session with the rest of the team (Developer, business, designer, etc).
My long term goal would be mapping the user’s behavior (user flow, user journey, experience map, personas, etc). Essentially it should be shareable and readable for peoples outside the design team. Documentation is the key.
Stage 2: Prototype
This stage is quite straightforward, the output will be series of mockup design to simulate scenarios for user testing. I usually use Invision.
Concept and ideation is a fun process, a lot of whiteboarding, sketching, and discussion with others. Bring more diverse roles within the company to get insight as much as we can.
Pencil and paper always be my first tools to generate ideas and then I create the mockup with Sketch, this will be the last thing that I will do.
Stage 3: Test
User testing helped us gather feedback faster. Fail fast and learn fast. Rather than we do the changes at the development stage, change and improve the flow based on the test result. I thinks it’s a win-win solution for everyone.
Stage 4: Develop
I prefer to work together with the developer and assists them on the daily basis, not just hand off the mockup design to them. Collaborating with other roles it’s very insightful, sometimes they have idea/feedback that we as designer never thought about it before.
I’m using a combination between Sketch and Zeplin. So far this is still the best choice for me, especially when creating mobile apps. If needed I also able to deliver the HTML/CSS version to developers.
The whole stages should not be a waterfall process, it’s a non-linear process. Actually, it’s a never ending process, be ready for any changes and be more flexible. It’s a work of design, not work of art, it should be a two-way communication.
We wanted to solve problems for our users and improve their experience using our product, so listen for any feedbacks and start prioritizing to improve the user experience.