The way I work varies from project to project, and it also depends on the team I work with.
Nevertheless, my personal concept development process usually looks something like this.

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.

anna johnsson

2. Research

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.

anna johnsson

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.

anna johnsson

4. Prototyping

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.

anna johnsson

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.

anna johnsson