This is the very first thing one should do no matter what the project is. Be it logo, web or app design, the success of every project depends on this step.
During the ideation step your goal should be to make a note of every single idea you have for your project. These are only notes and quick sketches so it shouldn’t take you very long. Don’t worry about the details just yet.
I recommend that you find a place away from your workstation and sit with a notebook and pencil. I use a Dot Grid Book by Moleskine and a Progrex by Pilot. The tools themselves are not important, but it is crucial that you make time for this step. Here I sketch out my ideas that come to mind about the solution I’m preparing.
User Experience (UX)
Only then when I’ve finally elaborated on my idea and can succinctly explain it do I jump into anything formal. By then I’ve also had numerous conversations with the project’s stakeholders to ensure my solution works.
I begin here by first mapping out important user flows, and then I wireframe the rest of the app.
User Interface (UI)
Finally, when I have worked through the details in the wireframes, I begin to pull together a color palette, type and other familiar elements. Making sure I spend more time creating elements that will be necessary rather than editing too much along the way. I also avoid using any filler text as much as I can.
I’ve found that the less I worry about creating a final product the easier it gets because the focus remains on the content and displaying it in a manor that will meet my project’s goal.
Your Design Process
I kept the information in this post very general because I want you to think about your own process rather than focus on mine. There is no one-size fits all for every designer. So this week, take a moment to write down the steps for your own design process and feel free to reply back directly to this post. I’d love to talk to you more about your specific steps.
In the coming weeks I’m going to take the steps above and break them down further into individual guides to help show you exactly what the value of each one is.