Process #1: Project Planning

I get asked from a lot of people, whether they're interested in me or in design as a field:

What is your process?


I always have trouble answering this question because there's so, so much to say! I tend to tailor my approach based on the content being designed or developed, the user types and the individuals involved. So here is where I start: Project planning.

Every project should have a set of objectives, defined users, and timeline.

Every project balances some type of business needs or limitation with a user experience.

Every project follows a sequence of researchdesign, implementation or build, and quality control metrics.

Ultimately, the goal is to identify and involve stakeholders at the right time.

The various voices, whether literal or figurative (ie users), must be weighed appropriately with other project needs.

It's easy to get lost in a single step--getting caught up in resolving a single design element or visual objective--when there's bigger fish to fry and larger problems to solve. I often step into the role of developer, or user tester and tech troubleshooter, and it's easy to get lost in a different mindset.

Using this project map really helps me put things into perspective and remember that:

The goal is for a user--a person--to experience and not to simply design an object.

I'll flesh out the design process in later blogs!

Feel free to steal and use this! Nab a copy from my google drawing here.

Betty Huang

Designer in Austin, Texas. Creates ceramic work, skilled in industrial and graphic design, and loves visual storytelling.