To create a desirable outcome, a strong foundation is needed. I like to start off my projects with research.
To do this effectively, I ask questions to the manager or product owner. Asking the right questions allows me to get an understanding of the business model, target user and project scope.
After speaking with the people on board, I take it a step further. That may include doing competitive analysis, heuristic evaluations of the current product and/or conducting user interviews.
Good products revolve around the user, so I make sure to have a solid grasp of the target audience. I combine my knowledge and understanding of the user to form a user persona which represents the generalized user group.
If there is ambiguity or uncertainty in the needs or goals of the user, I interview the users first-hand to get a fuller picture. Aside from that and depending on the project, journey mapping, ideating on user stories and epics, and affinity mapping all help solidify this stage in the process.
Once there is a clear understanding of the business goals, user mission and purpose of the product, I get designing 🎉.
I like to work with different fidelities, moving from hand-drawn sketches all the way to responsive prototypes, but sometimes that's not possible. If the budget or timeline of a project doesn't allow, I adapt to the constraints with the least compromise possible.
Designs are usually reviewed by the Project Managers to ensure everything is aligned with the client expectation and project goals. There can be iterations to the designs in order to tighten up the mockup and get it to 100%. Once it's been finalized and approved, I create a full style-guide, organize all the assets and send it off to the developers.
Along the process, there may be multiple people trying to connect with my from various standpoints. I make sure to stay available for questions or updates from whoever it may be.