1. Defining the Problem
I always start with identifying the real problem. What prevents you from reaching your goal? I begin by listening to what the client wants, however I also try and see problems that the client might not. Having a clear goal of what we want to create, makes it easier to reach it.
I then begin doing research. Including desktop research, interviews or observations, all depending on the project. This is to understand the specific market, competitors, potential technology that can be used, and to seek inspiration for the overall design.
3. Sketching & Brainstorming
I then create a mood-board to visualize the style of the product or environment and start sketching ideas. I love bringing in people from other disciplines when brainstorming for ideas, who have the ability to see things from a different perspective.
Once I have a strong idea I start to visualize it by creating prototypes, wireframes, storyboards or concept drawings to show to the team and client. I believe that the earlier I can get feedback the better, so no unnecessary work is created and time wasted.
5. User testing
When the concept is clearly defined, I always like to test the working prototype on the target audience. This is to avoid mistakes and to get a better understanding of the users, before finalizing the design.