My Design Methodology

I believe that design should be an iterative process that besides research and design, includes prototyping and testing with actual users. The design process that I follow goes like this:

  1. The process starts in questioning the brief and redefining it based on the conclusions made during the interviews with the brief providers. Many times, the ones who gave the brief are not sure what they wanted and it is important to create your version of the brief.
  2. After the brief is settled, the process of benchmarking and needfinding begins. Initial stakeholder map is being made and different stakeholders interviewed, together with potential users to get a deeper knowledge of the topic. This phase is all about getting out there in the field and getting real and relevant data. 
  3. When possible needs are discovered, the ideation process begins that leads to concept generation. Many techniques can be used here, including allocating time for crazy and unconventional ideas.
  4. Every concept is prototyped fast and dirty. These prototypes isolate the core function or experience of the concept to be tested with users. Prototypes in this stage are done with a lot of duct tape and are visually unappealing, but their purpose is to test and not to look good.
  5. Final stage of the process is testing. It is done with actual users of the potential product. After testing, feedback is gathered and the whole process repeats. If the testing proves to be successful, a more developed proof of concept is made to demonstrate the functionality properly to the client. 

I didn't invent this process. It has been created by IDEO and thought at Stanford University. I was lucky to be a part of ME310 course that teaches design thinking and innovation and it is done in collaboration with many prestigious school globally. Later, I worked as a course instructor on the same course, where I got further familiar with all the details of the process and all the variations. Of course, this is not the place for me to explain it in detail, but I hope you got some basic understanding of the methodology.