After working with product design for a couple of years, I realized how important it is to have a plan and know how to execute it. When it comes to building and improving products, you have to understand how they work and go beyond it.
You have to understand who will use it and create an easy and intuitive experience for them. I like to keep things simple and focus on what we’re building. But remember that it takes a while to build something great. It takes a lot of day to day work to come up with a great product. This is why I like to follow the steps below to in every project I design.
1Before I start any project, I like to research everything about it. I need to understand what problem are we trying to fix, who uses the product and how can we improve their experience when they use it. But we cannot forget business goals and possible competitors.
2After you understand the problem we’re going to fix, it’s time to brainstorm what is the best way to do it. This is when we start sketching early wireframes and testing out online behaviors.
3After a solution is defined, it’s time to document and register our goals, what are we trying to fix, setup deadlines and define how we’re going to deliver it. It’s essential to discuss this step with clients and team members so there is no confusion or wrong expectation about what we are building.
4Before any visual design is done, I like to lay out some information architecture and, together, start mapping out the user experience. After this step is clear, we can perform some user tests and refine our solutions and improve the concept further. Whenever this is done, the user interface will start being designed. First as a overall design and then with a strong focus on details like typography and motion design.
5Test and iterate once. Test and iterate again so we can dismiss assumptions and make decisions based on user data and not personal taste. Great product design depends on a foundation of understanding users and this is what we need to do.
6We should never forget to create style guides that define how the user interface needs to look like in different devices and resolutions. A strong visual and experience documentation is a huge asset to products since it keeps it easy to understand and we avoid future mistakes.