How I work
How do I go about a typical project? It usually depends on the particular constraints of the project–for some projects I might do everything listed below, for others just some things.
I’m flexible in my approach to my work but one thing I always do is think about the user.
Step 1: Listen
It sounds obvious but this is really important. I listen to what the client wants. That way it’s more likely I’ll create something that she and her audience actually want. What does the client want to achieve? Who are her users? Who are the competitors? What other sites or products does she like and why?
Listening is obviously something that continues throughout the project: I listen to its stakeholders, site users, programmers etc. to make sure I’m getting it right.
Step 2: Research
Is there an existing website? Who are the users and what do they think of it? Can I get any feedback or do any testing on it? What are the users most interested in and how does this fit in with the business goals of the site owner?
If there is no existing site, establish what the website’s purpose is and who the potential users are.
Make contact with the users and discover their motivations and goals, either by running interviews or other methods, such as surveys.
Step 3: Conceptual design
Let’s create the wireframes, along with other design documentation like storyboards. This is a good way to generate some ideas and discuss the layout and functionality of the site without getting too bogged down in details–they can also be used for some initial user testing. Also it can be a good way to communicate how the site will work to the back-end team–and to get their feedback on if what you’re proposing can be done.
Step 4: Iterative design and usability testing
It’s important to regularly test any designs or prototypes that are produced and feed the results of this back into the design for further testing.
Step 5: Visual design comps
Time to open up Photoshop, Illustrator or get stuck in with good old in-browser design.
Step 6: design implementation
Once the design is in a state to be implemented I can pass on the design documentation to the front-end development team or code the templates with web standards, including HTML5 and CSS3.