How.

I'd like to spend a little time talking about a few of the practices that I have learned used over the years & how I collaborate with others. 

The first thing you should know about me is that I listen before I speak. The second thing you should know is that I think in terms of experiences, not features.

Design Thinking is all the craze & it sits at the core of my design practices, but why do I like it? Because, it breaks down the barriers between team members when we traditionally talk about 'roles'. Title & role become irrelevant when you can share a common language to collaborate.

I follow a few simple rules

• Make lots mistakes.
• I learn from my mistakes.
• Sketch more.
• When in doubt, make something & share it.
• Find something you're passionate about in every project.
• If it doesn't work in black & white, it doesn't work.
• Have fun & check the ego.

Methodologies & practices

• I ♥︎ Design Thinking
• Lean UX
• Agile
• Content first, then mobile
• I ♥︎ Design systems

The process

Research

I am not a researcher, but I love working with them, & I love to be a part of their process. This is one of the most important parts of design process & where I am often the most silent. At this point I think it is really important to listen & learn.

Solve the right problem

I don't want to solve any problem, I want to make sure that I am solving the right problems. This means question the brief, ask questions, explore & research a little before committing to the ask. If we've done our research & done our diligence then we are probably headed in the right direction.

Empathy

For me, empathy goes beyond a persona. What drives a person & their actions, what keeps them up at night, what would they do with more time in their day or with their family, are their personality traits unique to their role, how do they interact with co-workers, how do others see their roll?

Digging deeper beyond the basics of a users roll gives you a lot of clues that you can use in your work & improve life for a user.

Storytelling

People tell stories. We've done it for thousands of years, & lets be honest. It's fun. Beyond being fun it's a great tool to communicate to co-workers, stakeholders, clients, & users that you understand them & their problems.

Make & create together

Make more & make often. Taking action even when you're uncertain is better than doing nothing at all. There are a lot of things worse than being wrong, mosquito bites, stepping on a lego, truck stop sandwiches, a bad enchilada to name a few. Point is, don't be embarrassed or afraid to show what you've been working on because its not perfect.

Observe

This is a great time to tag in your Researcher for quality Usability Testing. Test early & often, be present, & watch closely.

Iterate

I don't know about you, but my first design is rarely right. I make mistakes, a lot of them, but I'm not ashamed it's how we learn. The more mistakes I can make early on the more & faster I learn.

Rinse & Repeat

Do this over & over & over until you start getting things right, design is iterative, messy & organic. There isn't always a clear path, but we're wayfinders & problem solvers.

Closing thoughts

The right tools for the job

This is all very high level, & at the end of the day there are more tools in my box than I've listed here. What's important for me to remember is that in order to find & solve the right problem, you need to choose the right tools for the job. Methodologies, technology, design tools all come together based on the needs & skills of a team or the client.

See the work