My Design Process
While every project is different here is my general approach
Phase 1: Introduction
When approaching a new project, I begin with understanding its context. For example: who is involved in this project ecosystem? I consider the users, the people who will deliver this experience to the users, the team developing the experience, etc. In this phase I typically conduct workshops so that the team can align on project goals and outcomes. I prepare by doing preliminary user and market research. Often times I invite “sponsor users” along for the project journey, to co-create with the team and provide insight.
Phase 2: Learn
The next phase of my process is in-depth research and insight gathering. First hand “ride-alongs” and user interviews allow me to build empathy for my user’s goals and challenges. Combining this knowledge with market research on existing solutions and trends in the industry provide an opportunity for innovation and new ideas. I synthesize my research into overarching themes and insights that I share with the greater team alongside big ideas.
Phase 3: Reflect
The following step is to produce concepts and solutions from these big ideas. I love sketching user-scenarios out to see the solution in context. I’ll work with sponsor users and other users in the solution ecosystem. These ideas are developed just far enough to be imaginable but not too far, so that they become “expensive” or too cherished to throw away.
Phase 4: Test
Using the research insights and users, the concepts must be validated and tested. For digital solution I usability test mid-fidelity wireframes to see how the user interact and if the solution sparks joy. I follow-up interviews with questions like, “If you had a magic wand and could change anything about this, what would you change?” I continue to edit and refine the solution with the team.
Phase 5: Measure
As we get closer to completing the project, it’s important to understand what happens next. Building in continuous feedback loops and measurable KPIs, needs to happen before development is complete. The entire team needs to agree on what success is for the solution.
I’ve been lucky to be on many projects at IBM that launched within six months to a year. For enterprise software that’s extremely fast. It requires working together collaboratively and iteratively. It also requires building out a plan, not everything can or needs to be built on Day 1. My teams always have a phased approach for products and start with a minimally delightful experience (more commonly referred to as the minimal viable product).