b. case study
It is often the design process that is more important than the design itself; this is especially true of interactive design. Over the course of my career I've developed a flexible approach to process that almost always consists of the same general milestones. While formulaic it still allows for flexibly, tailoring each milestone to the unique aspects of each project. The following is a high-level look at how this process typically plays out:
a) discovery: my process begins with a discovery phase. The initial focus of which is gathering information from stakeholders through various techniques to define goals at a high level.
b) research: in addition to the information gathered during the discovery phase, various methods of research are employed. Tools like heat mapping, analytics, and user testing help to define areas of focus, and inform decisions.
c) concept: when enough information has been gathered an audience must be clearly defined, personas are created as an embodiment of this audience to better empathize with users. Through these personas we are able to define their goals and motivation. Ultimately establishing the direction of the experience.
d) prototype i: when a concept has been defined, and goals established, the key features of the experience can begin to be explored. This is normally done through prototypes of various fidelity, from rough sketches on paper, to clickable wireframes like these.
e) prototype ii: navigation is often the single most important feature of a digital product and thus a good place to start. With the principles of responsive design its important to ensure key features will provide a compelling experience across all devices.
f) information architecture: during the time key features are being explored the hierarchy of content; and the users movement through that content must be defined. This structure is established through various site-mapping, and user-flow exercises. Once established, this framework is built up through content mapping.
g) wireframing: with a structure in place and key features of the experience solidified, more high-fidelity wireframing can begin. These wireframes will not only serve as a reference for early phases of development, but begin to determine how and where content should be presented.
h) design + content: when wireframing is complete the proposed interface must be refined through a strong, flexible UI system. This system must act as a powerful delivery system for the content of the experience. Learn more about my approach to UI design.