“What are the business and user goals in this project, and where can they intersect?” Answering that question is where I provide true value to the client and my teammates in this phase. Leading stakeholder interviews, heuristic analysis, contextual inquiries and workshop sessions are just tactics I employ to get there. It will look like a bunch of chicken scratch on a whiteboard at points, but this is me abstracting the ‘why’ to recommend the best ‘how’.
The client has to understand what they are seeing up front. I bridge the gap between the wireframe and the final visual comp. I don’t want to step on the visual designers toes so much as free them to focus on elevating the design versus just making sense of it.
“Wireframes are like blueprints”. It’s a classic analogy for clients to understand the value of this deliverable, but I strive to show much more than a page of grey and white boxes. My wireframes illustrate hierarchy through typography and the introduction of color.
There are times when annotations and static pages aren’t going to be robust enough to illustrate intended interactions and may prove to be a additional step. In these times, I prototype. My prototypes vary in scale, software used, and fidelity but the goal is always the same: create something a potential user, client, developer, or my team & I can use to gain a more clear understanding of what the intended final product will be like. This efficiency pays dividends to both budget and timeline.
A natural extension of prototyping, testing may be the most important phase of a project, and one too often cut when looking to reduce costs. While my preferred testing scenario is participant led with periods of rapid iteration and refinement between tests, I have led or participated in a wide variety of formats and all have yielded insights that enhance the final product. The flexibility and scalability of different testing approaches I bring to the table allow testing to occur in projects of all budget sizes.
Documentation is critical. The speed at which things can change and evolve during interaction design can be a double edged sword and necessitates this final pause to clean up files, capture final intentions and make sure all parties are aligned on the interactions of the product. This attention to detail I have in final delivery ensures a smooth and efficient handoff to other designers or developers who continue to bring the product to life.