Given my experience working in in-house, agency and freelance design capacities, I have formulated a Design Process that is tailored to how has been effective and efficient working relationships between me and stakeholders or clients.
It is a culmination of what I’ve learned over the years from the design processes advocated by larger organizations such as IBM and IDEO. It is outlined as follows:
Define & Scope
Collaboration with team members to define the problem to be solved, in addition to the scope of a particular project.
Immerse & Research
Research to immerse myself in the mindset of the humans who will be making use of the products I am designing.
When resources permit, user-centric research will be conducted to observe real humans in the process of using existing products to uncover needs, learn about the industry landscape and forms initial ideas. This is the time to hypothesize potential problems that I should be solving for.
Reflect & Plan
Regroup with designers and product executives to find common ground, this includes work prioritization, possible changes to roadmapping based on insights gathered from the previous phase
Make & Check
Come up with tangible solutions in the form of physical and digital artifacts (hand-drawn sketches, flow diagrams and sitemaps, etc).
These artifacts will explore different possible solutions and communicate the abstract ideas to teammates.
Feasibility is checked when communicating with engineering, operations, marketing and finance partners with these tangibles as well.