Communication & Definition
I strive for collaboration and communication. I'm big on getting everyone on the same page—from clients to internal stakeholders and UX teams—so we can all understand the design challenge ahead. From here, true project needs start to take shape.
I create lo-fidelity mock-ups focusing on communicating functionality, continuity, and user flow. More complex challenges sometimes require early prototyping, too. This can help avoid misunderstandings, and unnecessary churn during the visual design process.
Once wireframes are in solid shape and the UI is understood, the next step is design. I find that wireframes can be overdone. While it's important to understand functionality, wireframes, if overdone, can limit visual design. Staying flexible, not pixel perfect, allows design to truly add to an experience.
Prototyping allows the personality of the design to merge with actual site interactions. It helps reveal what’s working, and what’s not. Whether prototyping is done with wireframes or visual design, it should build confidence across the team of what the final product can be.
Each design challenge is different. I've worked on agile teams, and I've worked in more traditional settings. I see merits to both. Being open to different approaches, as well as listening to other people's perspectives, has always paid off for me. Collaboration is always crucial to a project's success.