How can great ideas rise to the top to create an experience people enjoy? How can we ensure that the products we put out into the world provide value to the people that use them? The key is to have a focused process for iteration, that establishes checkpoints for decision making along the way. While this might sound a bit robotic, parameters and checkpoints allow for creative freedom in a constructive manner to guide a product from concept to production.
Before jumping into designs, there must be an agreed upon strategy. By creating and prioritizing both customer goals and business goals, the scariness of the wide open unknown is now limited. It puts focus and intention around each and every task, and provides loose constraints that make the creative process easier.
Once those guard rails are established, it is safe to dive in! And as we know, great designs do not just appear out of thin air. They begin with a rough concept (or shall I say several rough concepts). These ideas can be tested by customers, stakeholders or outside observers. The key here is to validate that the direction the team is moving in is correct and helpful.
After an idea has been validated, it’s time to take a stab at the concept’s function. How does it work? What needs to be built? How does it interact with other pieces of the application? What repeatable elements can be used? To figure this out, rough sketches from the concept phase are translated into low-fidelity wireframes. This informs the hierarchy of content and the general flow. Once solidified, unified systems can be generated—think navigation style, elements like buttons, images, etc.
Lastly, comes the final form. This is where the polish of color, imagery and copy transform an uninspiring flow of boxes into a branded experience that is both helpful and visually pleasing to customers. Because of the leg work done in the previous phases, exploration and focus can be placed around what things look like vs how they work.
While this general overview can get you started, the design team at Atomic Robot will go into detail about how to achieve your goals at each stage of the process to create a successful (and helpful) product in our Designing Value webinar on April 29th. This webinar is open to all, and is free to attend!