HOW I WORK
When I approach a project for a client, I ask a lot of very dumb questions when I am just getting to know their business and their customers' needs. It's important that I keep discovering the most basic unanswered questions even when I've learned a lot more, because I have found that it's easy to try to attack complex problems before the very basic ones are solved.
My job is to understand customer expectations and to work independently or as part of a team to meet them in the simplest, most compelling way.
Creating and advocating for solutions that can be realized in the real world requires me to understand and respect technology, budget, or structural limitations.
A design solution I create must reflect your business as a system with its own integrity so that you can leverage its visual design language, interactive patterns, and production assets to ensure consistency and cost-effectiveness as you grow your business.
I conduct audits of comparable products and experiences as well as user research whenever possible. Analytics and qualitative feedback fuel iteration and optimization.
I spend a good amount of time making sure I am able to deliver design using the most effective — Not the trendiest! — process tools and collaboration techniques available.
I use the mechanics that are best suited to the audience and the phase of the project. These frequently include:
- Audits, user research, and design discovery See an example of a small user research project
- Whiteboard like hell with SMEs, stakeholders, and developers, and create discussion documents, sketches wireframes, flow diagrams and sitemaps See a few examples
(Often I begin by sharing nascent thoughts and concepts in whatever expedient way makes sense, even quick ascii-type conceptual wireframing in email to a colleague. Sketching then helps me tease through which patterns and components can come into play and what states they may need to reflect. It ain't pretty and gets less so when during meetings/discussions they get layered with markup capturing "Oh yeah!" thinking. Worksessions with a whiteboard are great for hashing through options and approaches with the team, and for making sure everybody is on that famous jargonny "same page.")
- Create and contribute to collaborative wikis See an example of a wiki I seeded that has become an important maintained touchstone for the company
I deliver whatever is most appropriate for efficient implementation, including:
- Complete design systems for identity
- Hi-fi composite walkthroughs and screen images
- Source and production files: I use Illustrator as an authoring/design tool, creating native Illustrator PDFs that can be opened and commented upon by stakeholders in any corporate role, thus obviating version control problems/duplicate files and creating scalable source files that can be output for any need
- Icon and brand assets are typically .svg files so they look great on any device or resolution
- Detailed prototype CSS for devs to draw from for high-fidelity typographical styling
- Style guides & asset repositories: Creating a visual and UX style guide is crucial to the fidelity of development and as a resource for the designers themselves to ensure consistency in patterns, behavior, and component detail as new features and products are designed. A strong pattern system and style guide ensures reuse and fosters user familiarity and success. Detailed specifications within the style guide help minimize visual QA rework and the ticketing overhead it entails.
See an example of a style guide I authored