My way of working when designing a product or a service
A design process is a series of steps that leads to the project realisation. It's like breaking down a project into pieces and each piece is as much important as the previous one, and you only goes to the next piece once the one you're working for is fully validated.
Usually, a good design process goes as follow : define the problem, collect information, brainstorm and analyze, develop solutions, gathering feedback from users and than improve. As you can see, there is no "final delivery", because it's a loop, it never ends. Designing is a process that constantly seeks for the best and can always be improved.
Working as follow is important to build the best experience ever. We built cars that can be driven by humans, we built phones that can be used by humans. Designing products or interfaces is not new, it has always been there for a long time.
You can't find a solution until you have a clear idea of what the problem is. This is why the first step is to gain an empathic understanding of the problem you are trying to solve. Thinking about users needs, fitting in their shoes, being human centered. Observe, ask questions, be sure to understand what you're trying to solve. All of this will lead to identify the core problems I'm trying to solve.
Immersing yourself, engaging with the clients or even for your own project. I'm always putting much effort on this stage to be sure I will work in the right direction. Missing some parts or information can totally change the way the product of the service is designed. It's why it's a very important stage.
This stage is gathering as much information as I can. Collecting data, take pictures, analyze deeply, sketches and so on. Having plenty of infos will allow me to understand and concretise the problems I'm trying to solve. I will have a better understanding of the situation and I will even find other problems that I wasn't aware of.
Making personas to understand the users, grouping the content you find on sheets and organise your research in order to have a clear understanding of what you found. Making polls and asking questions to groups or communities is a great way to collect even more information.
Once I have gathered enough information and I deeply understand the project, I start sorting all the data togheter or apart depending on what goes togheter or not. I define my functionnalities, the who, what, where, when, why, the MVP, the solution and so on. I'm building information architectures and If I work in team I debate on plenty of topics to find the perfect spot.
This process usually takes a while before being finished. It's a big moment in the design process because it's where you will define the core skeleton of your project before even starting to draw something.
One of the best part, developing solutions. Thanks to all my previous researches, I'm now able to start drawing my ideas to life. making wireframes, based on my analyze, is one of my favourite part.
The wireframes are usually made digital, than I print them and cut them properly to make it suitable for testing. Because of course, the next step is getting user feedback and massive testing from your wireframes or drawings of the future interface of the product/service.
One of the best part, developing solutions. Thanks to all my previous researches, I'm now able to start drawing my ideas to life. Making wireframes, based on my analyze, is one of my favourite part. It really gives a first visual of your future interface which is really exciting.
User testing is also probably one of the most important step. I'm having always a lot of valuable information which helps me to change certain features or adapting my functionnalities properly. And it's always mind blowing because you will be surprise that there are things you didn't even thing about.
Once I have made thousands of tests, I'm able to turn my wireframes into visuals and actually start to design the interface. Putting the UI design on top of my structure, adding colors, typography, visual elements etc.
But it's not the end, because even after that you will always keep improving your interface. When I'm turning all my work into concrete visuals, I still make sure to improve the user experience by keeping making tests and gather feedback.