The process is always changing & what remains the same is that I am constantly evolving. I’ll talk briefly about the most consistent tools, methods & processes that I use. You will notice pretty quickly that collaboration is at the core of most everything that I do.
Leading small multi-disciplinary teams (≈7 is my favorite) primarily using Design Thinking & Agile methodologies is my sweet-spot. I say sweet spot because it allows me to get my hands dirty without playing task master. Let’s get to it.
I follow a few simple rules
• Make lots mistakes.
• Learn from those 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.
I am not a researcher, but I love working with them & I love to be a part of their process. It is really important to me that I listen & learn when research does their thing.
Solve the right problem
I don't want to solve any problem, I want to make sure that I am solving the right problems.
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, how do others see their roll? Dig deeper beyond the basics gives a lot of clues that you can use in your work & improve life for a user.
Tell a great story
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 more & make often. Taking action even when you're uncertain is better than doing nothing at all.
Test & observe
Test early & often, be present, & watch closely. There are a lot of things worse than being wrong; mosquito bites, stepping on a lego, truck stop sandwiches to name a few. Point is, don't be afraid to share what you've been working on because its not perfect
Iterate, rinse & repeat
I don't know about you, but my first design is never right. I make mistakes, a lot of them, but I'm not ashamed to say it's how I learn. The faster I can learn, the faster we can get to the right solution. Once is never enough. I like to keep doing this until I’ve gotten something resembles right.
Tools for collaboration
When it comes to scaling a design & aligning across distributed teams I have found these tools to be most effective for my current day to day.
• Design ThinkingSee the work
• Agile/Lean UX
• Google Docs
• Design systems
• Sketch + Craft
• Box + BoxNotes
• Dropbox + Paper