How I prefer to work
To begin any project, I prefer to brainstorm ideas with all disciplines present – writers, technology, design, developers, marketing, sales, and the end users when possible. This pulls out ideas and a deeper understanding of our end users’ needs and expectations because everyone has a different perspective. I find that I become better at what I do when I learn from people outside of my area of expertise.
Sketching and Concepts
I love whiteboards and sticky notes and blank pieces of paper. Once the group has a vague idea of the project goals, then it is time to sketch!
This is probably my favorite step.
Some of the sketches will stick and some will fade away. The next step is to create user personas, user flows, and wireframes.
No, wait. This is my favorite step.
Before an idea gets too far, I always prefer to have the prototypes tested by the target user group.
How can you not love your job when your target user is a 5-year old kid?
After the team collects the user feedback, then it is time to iterate and refine the wireframes. Slowly a design comes into being.
Time to put some color, buttons, segmented controllers, back arrows and the like on the frames.
Hold on. This part is DEFINITELY my favorite.
Development Style Guide
Once the user interface has been approved, then I pull all my files apart and document each piece. My organized, linear, and perfectionist self comes out and I love these days.
Scratch all other previous favorites. This step is the best. Final answer.
I prefer to work in an agile environment, which means many sprint plans, stand up meetings, and scrums. (Even as a designer, I have a secret love of spreadsheets.)