It looks nothing like it did two years ago. I’ve been learning the agile methodology way of working for the past couple of years. That includes ownership of goals, working in 2 week sprints, check-ins / reviews with the team and the client throughout the sprints, breaking down the brief via roadmapping and retrospective sessions. This is my current process and approach.
Time for a persona matrix with four angels serving different goals. That leaves you with 4 different people with unique backgrounds, behaviours, frustrations and opportunity areas. These personas will guide feature development and prioritisation plus protect against inconsistent customer assumptions. Another exercise I find useful is UBN(User & Business Needs) where I separate the user needs from the business and generate ideas based on these needs.
To understand the product fully I break it down and use pens and post-its to identify weaknesses, UX issues, ideas and opportunities. I like to do this non-digital and my postit-colours have different meanings: yellow = what we know, red = issues and things we don’t know, green = opportunities and ideas. One workshop exercise I learned at Hyper Island a few years ago (and it’s still one of my favourites) is called ‘Vision & Tension Mapping’. The purpose is to establish the dream scenario, reflect upon where we are today, current challenges and opportunities to forge ahead.
A few years ago, I would’ve said that strategy is how to get from A to B. Having worked at Mentally Friendly for a few years, I’ve learned that strategy is a co-created journey to transform something with a measurable output, quickly. What I like most about that definition is the co-creation part. To make the most successful products we plan, define & create – in a team. Being part of the planning from day 1, prioritisation and decision making, that makes my life as a designer easier and richer.
For planning my favourite tools are Github & Trello boards, I like the way the boards show you an overview of the project and estimates can be added to each card(with the help from an extension). I document most of my work. planning and processes using Evernote, as well as personal development plans(OKRs) and I’m using slack to communicate with my co-workers .
I’ve learned a few different ways of ideation. First of all, the good old time pressured postit ideation. I do believe though, that the best ideas comes when you’re relaxed – I’m more likely to come up with great ideas when I’m having breakfast or having a shower. One interesting method I learned is the negative brainstorming. These ideas then gets inverted in the same session and some surprisingly good ideas are born. Another method I like is to use the cards developed by ‘Method kit’ .
I’ll start with pencil and paper, might try to get as many ideas out with crazy eights. I’ll also try to run a co-design workshop with the team as well as the client so that we get a diverse range of perspectives, let everyone contribute with ideas and build a shared understanding around the problem we are trying to solve.
I’ve been designing in Sketch for a few years. I’ve been creating styletiles, wires, mapped user journeys and rolled out responsive page designs all in sketch. For branding and icon creation, I’m still using Illustrator sometimes. And of course, for image editing – photoshop will always be no.1 .
My new favourite tool is Principle as it allows to show transitions. I also use Invision and Marvel if I need a simple clickable prototype. As I’m learning more and more code, my goal is to be able to create responsive browser prototypes.
TEST & REVIEW
It’s massively important to put my work infront of people. To share ideas with end users – let them play with the prototype. I’ve used Lookback.io to document what I wanted to learn or identify. My design reviews are documented in Trello or github, using boards for each page, cards with screenshots,bugs, issues and links.
I’ve been using zepelin for all of my recept projects. Zepelin is a collaboration tool between designers and developers, it cuts time wasted and ensures that designs are implemented pixel perfectly.
IMPROVE & REFLECT
Constantly asking for feedback from a diverse range of people, weekly design meetings, daily stand ups and improve based on project performance / analytics. We learn through our experience och reflection as a practice generates useful, actionable insights. It’s the last thing to do in a project so that we can identify that can be done differently next time. I like the simple format of writing cards for ‘good, bad, better, best’ when doing a retrospective with the team.