Before we begin design, we take a step back and dive deep into the problem space and learn about the target customers we are designing for before we jump into solution mode. Activities might include reviewing any pre-exisiting documentation or research you might have, conducting new research if required, stakeholder or customer interviews and competitor analysis.
We'll also dive into your business and product strategy, understanding the outcomes you are trying to achieve, what success might look like and how we might measure it.
This step is making sure we are solving the right problems (I'll ask a lot of "why" questions) and could potentially discover insights that you might not have otherwise known about your customers or solution idea before we being the design process. Uncovering these insights early mitigates the risk of these popping up later after you've built the your app.
2. DESIGN EXPLORATION & IDEATION
Now that we understand the problem and the customers we are designing for, we start the early phase of the design process by exploring and generating a number of potential solutions. The idea here is to not stop at one idea but to generate multiple ideas by changing, tweaking, pushing and pulling concepts and explore different concepts.
This is the step where the unexpected and innovative solutions appear and is an exciting part of the design process.
Activities would include sketching, wire framing and prototyping. This would be low-fidelity (black & white) at this stage as we don't want to waste time making the wrong thing pretty.
Out of this step, we might select 2 or 3 strong concepts to refine and prototype to take into the next step to test if our solution concepts work for our customers.
3. TEST, LEARN & ITERATE
To avoid potentially building the wrong thing, wasting valuable money, time and resources, we need to test the designs and prototypes with your end users. Out of these testing sessions, we can look for common themes and patterns and then iterate on the designs to make them stronger or discard ideas that didn't work early in the process.
Depending on how this step goes and any timeline or budget considerations, we may choose to do multiple design and test iterations at this stage of the process until we are confident we have a solution that we believe will work.
4. VISUAL DESIGN
This is the polishing stage where we are confident in our solution and so it makes sense to start making pretty and applying your branding. This could also include any micro-interactions and animations, making the UX of your app come to life.
5. BUILD & DEVELOPER SUPPORT
Although David no longer codes the apps himself, with his engineering background, this does make him very developer friendly. Throughout the design process, he would have already engaged your developers (if available) so that they can feed into the design process.
Once development begins, he will support them by supplying assets, style guides and whatever they need including design shoulder checks to make sure that the intention of the design is not lost in the build phase and the end result lives up the vision for your app.