With a user centered approach to design I like to explore how people interact with products and products interact with people. I am always looking at why products are the way that they are and by putting the user first I design products that are functional, beautiful and able to provide the user with the best experience.
Brainstorming always comes first when figuring out how to tackle a brief. All ideas are welcome even the bad ones and this is the time to get them out in the open. Post-it notes come in handy for getting small bits of information down and with all the different shapes, sizes and colours they come in it’s so easy to organise your thoughts.
After brainstorming ideas and doing a bit of research it’s time to start designing. I find it helpful to not think of too many details when sketching as i’m just getting all of my ideas out in the open even if it’s as simple as a stick figure, as long as it gets the point across the details don’t matter yet.
Rough prototyping is a quick and easy way to test your idea and illustrate it to others without having to add too many details or worry about using expensive or time consuming machines which would be better used later in the design process.
Wireframing and creating personas are very useful when refining your idea to the point where it can be prototyped and tested by your target audience. This is where the details start to matter a lot more, it’s also the perfect time to find out what is and more importantly what isn’t necessary to provide the best user experience.
Once the prototypes have been made I always user test them to see wether my design is functional, understandable and appealing. You never know what the results will be and some surprising things can surface by getting people to use your product. I often use prototypes that are either sturdy or rough and replaceable especially when testing with children as I learned from my Airfix Wii project that they can break your prototypes without even trying.
After analysing the user testing session I know what people want and expect from my product as well as how much I can provide for them. Now it’s time to design the final version of the product, it’s important to keep attention to every little detail while not losing sight of the bigger picture. For digital products small changes and updates can be made even after they are released however physical products are a fixed point in space, while it is possible to remanufacture a product it’s likely to cost a lot of money so it’s vital that everything is in order before going in to mass production.
A good logo, clear instructions and an appealing campaign are all things that can make or break a product, I always use my background in graphic design to add another layer of substance to a product whether it’s digital, physical, consumer or a one-off.