February 23rd, 2009
I’ve been asked a few times by friends and clients to write up the steps I take to produce the design documents that we give them. This is my attempt at putting a process or approach together. I think these constitute what we usually do at Lushai. I will update and refine it as I work on more projects. I’ll even put in a diagram.
So, here goes…
Lushai’s approach to projects is based on transparency, adaptability to clients’ requirements and quality. Our approach to design is based on business drivers but focused on your end-users’ needs. Our goal is to facilitate the communication and interaction between you and your end-users and customers.
Our design process involves the following components:
Explore, Analyse & Define
We start with carrying out design research which means we dig inside to understand your requirements more in-depth to establish and clarify business goals and objectives. We immerse ourselves into your business processes, objects and information to understand relationships and identify problems and opporutnities. We look at your target users and their needs, to establish what they need from you including other online experiences that may be compelling to them.
This activity helps us identify interactions and information that will support the overall experience from using your online systems, services and spaces.
Conceptualise, Visualise & Prototype
Once we understand your business and user requirements, we will put together concepts and start visualising how your business will reach out to your customers and users online. We will develop personas or composites of your users if required, sitemaps or the logical and hierarchical structure of information within your website, key page layouts or templates, models for interaction and navigation. This is also where we develop the visual, colour and typographic styles for your online presence if you require.
Create, Evaluate & Refine
After agreeing upon the overall concept and strategy of information and interaction of your website or application, we can start defining the detail elements. This is where we specify the smallest button and placement of information, what they look like and how they will behave upon user interaction. This is a very iterative process as we evaluate and refine along the way, while you get to see how the designs evolve.
User Interface (UI) Development
Once the specifications are signed off, we can start developing the user interface using HTML and CSS. We provide validated and clean HTML and CSS files that can be handed over to the developers who will build the website. Lushai does not do web development. We provide clean HTML & CSS files that can be easily implemented by any software developer. We design with our own industry standard based CSS frameworks and we can work with the developer’s own frameworks if necessary.
Lushai’s process at it’s core follows a user centered design methodolody. This means we put the user at the centre of your proposition.
Some outputs of this are on Slideshare from work I did, while I was at Provoke for one of my favorite clients.