Here's a look inside my brain. I mean, not really.... but this is how I approach design.
I design to solve problems.
What's the best way to solve problems? Well, it starts with understanding the problem. In my experience, the practice of Design Thinking is the best tool in a user experience designer's kit.
While I do enjoy exercising User Experience Design from an end-to-end process, what I ultimately produce is driven by my top three strengths as a designer.
Design strategy - wireframes - User Interface mockups
I love being involved in crafting an overall design strategy. What problem should we focus on and how can we solve it? One of my favorite points in any design process is right after Affinity Mapping: "Here's where we are, now where can we go?"
While my professed love of Design Thinking is the driving force, my experience in business development lends itself well to developing design strategy. I see the whole picture, advocating for the needs of the user without losing sight of the business goals.
To start framing a solution, I do a few rounds of sketching. While sketching, I utilize the UX vision/design strategy to determine what elements are needed and how they should be prioritized.
After reviewing and testing hand-sketched ideas I bring them into a cohesive flow and recreate the design in a digital format. My favorite tool for wireframing is Sketch with a plugin for InVision so that I can test and iterate as I go.
After multiple iterations, I develop a final set of wireframes with annotations of interaction to best communicate design structure and functionality.
User Interface mockups
While functionality is critical, having a visually appealing UI is also a high priority.
Much of my early professional design work came from developing high fidelity mockups for sales initiatives. I enjoy creating a cohesive style guide and building out mockups.
I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to UI and that starts with precise wireframes elevated to pixel perfect mockups, essential for accurately communicating a desired UI and enable developers to make that design a reality.
I believe the best User Interfaces are simple, clean and consistent.