My approach to product design is heavily driven by data and psychology. My decisions are frequently shaped by qualitative and quantitative data, feedback from users and interviews with real customers. I combine this with behavioural psychology, laws of UX and my understanding of cognitive biases. This ensures the choices that matter are well-thought out and pragmatic, attributing to the product’s success by driving it’s key metrics.
I start by understanding the entirety of the problem, using tools like product stories, storyboards, user journeys, personas, feedback, key metrics and moments, market trend research and inherit stakeholder knowledge to understand the breadth and depth of a problem. I combine this with research about the business, using tools like competitor / SWOT analysis and pitch decks to form a clear picture of the organisation’s context, situation and vision for their product.
Once I understand a problem space fully, I can move on to ideation. Due to my background in design, development and strategy, I’m usually quick to understand the full spectrum of technical feasibility, human desirability and economic viability. When working with teams, I’m a big fan of employing design thinking — a lean process of brainstorming, empathy research and prototyping that both minimises risks with new ideas and improves the speed of learning and sharing.
For large projects with many stakeholders or a vendor-client style relationship, I like to summarise what I’ve discovered with a deck that typically consists of key concepts, proposed benefits and hopefully even a sizzle reel to generate hype. It’s a quick and effective way of demonstrating what we’ve learned and communicate the most important high-level takeaways to everyone involved.
I then turn these ideas and prototypes into flows — wireframes of user journeys through the product. Depending on the breadth of the product, these will either be sketches or low-fi wireframes (I tend to work a lot faster in Sketch than with paper). This is also where I start gathering visual inspiration in moodboards and look into creating coherency with rest of the product ecosystem.
Finally, I dive into Sketch to create pixel-perfect interfaces and Principle to create high-fidelity animated prototypes (I’ve dabbled with Figma and Framer X but they’re not my cup of tea just yet). I like to take a component-first approach, starting with a distributed design system using linked libraries. I’m passionate about working efficiently with development teams to deliver these designs and encouraging seamless handover, typically with InVision Inspect or Zeplin.
Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. People think it’s this veneer – that the designers are handed this box and told, “Make it look good!” That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.