One important aspect about design is how it relates to the user. The research process for any type of design process is important in finding that relation.
The ‘Double Diamond’ is a helpful way to determine aspects of a brief. It has the power to help the designer in their creative process. From using it, it has helped me focus on diverging and converging at various stages in a project. The Double Diamond I have found also helps clients understand the designers process and it gives them comfort in seeing what stage the project is in. When vocalising the Double Diamond to clients they see the value in the work process and the reasoning behind each stage. This cycle has become an important aspect of my design process and has improved my design output greatly along with my relationship with clients.
Gaining Insights and Ideation
Surveys often give insight into a vast audience the product or design is aimed at. These have been helpful to get feedback, or bring understanding to clients about various design directions I am heading in.
Interviews have been informative when getting a more one on one clarification when researching audiences or users a brand or product will be aimed towards. They create more empathic observations.
User personas are essential in relating a project entirely back to the user. They formulated an understanding of each specific user and create a reference point for me, as a designer to return to throughout the project duration.
Mapping and Defining
Various methods of mapping are useful when defining the user and what they require from a product or brand or project. I have found journey mapping, stakeholder pyramids and empathy mapping useful when defining and converging in on various aspects of a project.
Audience Experience LifecyclE
With the user at the heart of a project and the client wanting to gain understanding about various directions the project is going, the Audience Experience Lifecycle has proved essential throughout the process. It determines which elements and deliverables in a project will offer the experience many clients want to achieve for their users. Capturing the users attention and creating a loyal user base is at the core of this cycle. This is very helpful when it comes to Ideation.
This process works well in conjunction with the Audience Lifecycle. It determines whether the ideas which make up the lifecycle can be made a reality and at what benefit to the user and client.
Low Fidelity Sketching
Early Sketches for Permission to Wonder App
Development Sketches for Éirbus app.
Stylescapes are helpful when determining the look and feel of a project amongst a team. I have found it helps decision making occur quickly by showing how dynamics work and do not within a brand. They are also useful when decisions are made for reminding a team this is the outcome decided upon.