My creative process gives my work structure, order, and purpose. I lean hard on my process, especially when I am learning something new or feeling creatively blocked.
RESEARCH: I start each project by going out into the world and getting inspired through carefully planned design research. The research and inspiration phase helps identify the relevant problem/need that the design process is aimed to address. This phase is the most vital to creating impactful design innovation because it truly requires a beginner's mind—a state of deep empathy, deferred judgement, and optimism.
In IDEO's Field Guide to Human-Centered Design they say, “When you understand the people you’re trying to reach—and then design from their perspective—not only will you arrive at unexpected answers, but you’ll come up with ideas that they’ll embrace.”
SYNTHESIS: I synthesize what I saw and heard during the design research phase into insights that articulate the a clear need or problem that needs solving. Then, I define the core principles that provide guardrails for the design process.
BRAINSTORM: I brainstorm the myriad ways the design solution could come to life. Then, I use pattern recognition to bucket the design solutions into discreet categories. Once the ideas are organized, I choose which ones will be built.
PROTOTYPE: I quickly develop low-fidelity prototypes of the best design solutions. Then, I use the the tangible prototypes to ask people questions and watch them interact with potential design solutions—these prototypes are meant to test hypotheses, not to seek validation. Low-fidelity prototypes are so powerful, and the earlier they become part of the design process, the better. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, well, a prototype is worth a 1000 pictures.
IMPLEMENT: After getting user feedback, I continue to refine the prototypes until I can develop the final, high-fidelity designs. In parallel, I create a strategy for how the final designs show up in the world.
Implementation strategy is based in answering important questions like, "How does the design make use of the existing brand?", "What story will the design focus on?", "How will the design help to define the purpose and values of it's creator?", "How will the design work as a stepping stone to the next series of innovations?"