Managing the Design Process-Implementing Design: An Essential Manual for the Working Designer

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This title focuses on design implementation and execution. This book examines design management concepts and methods in real world applications. About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. See our disclaimer. A job story is an effective technique for defining a problem without being prescriptive of a solution.

Information architecture IA is the structure of a website, app or other product. It enables users to understand where they are and where the information they want is in relation to their current position. Information architecture results in the creation of navigation, hierarchies and categorizations. Information architecture would benefit from the involvement of users in the IA development process.

Product teams typically use a technique called card sorting for this purpose. Designers ask users to organize items major features or topics of the product into groups and assign categories to each group. This method helps you find out how users expect to see information grouped on a website or in an app. Sketching is the easiest way to visualize ideas. Drawing by hand is a fast way to visualize a concept — enabling the designer to visualize a broad range of design solutions before deciding which one to stick with. Wireframes are useful for discussing ideas with team members and stakeholders, and to assist the work of visual designers and developers.

Wireframing acts as the backbone of the product — designers often use them as skeletons for mockups. Keep wireframes simple, and annotate them. When presenting a wireframe to teams, try to include annotations. Annotations help to create context and quickly deliver key ideas.

Wireframes are hardly used for product testing. Of course, design execution is important, but the idea itself plays a crucial role in the process. A well-executed bad idea is a big waste of time and energy.

So, how do you distinguish a good idea from a bad one? A technique called a design sprint can help you with that.

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A design sprint is a five-day design framework for validating ideas and solving challenges. It enables product teams to build a prototype that they can put in front of users to validate the initial design hypothesis to see if it solves the problem for the user. After the ideation phase, the product team should have a clear understanding of what they want to build. To deliver a good user experience, prototyping must be a part of your design process. A prototype is an experimental model of an idea that enables you to test it before building the full solution.

A prototype often starts small, with you designing a few core parts of a product such as key user flows and grows in breadth and depth over multiple iterations as required areas are built out.

Guide for Creating a Project Design | Smartsheet

The finalized version of a prototype is handed off for development. When it comes to prototyping, efficiency is vital. One of the most efficient prototyping processes is rapid prototyping. The process of rapid prototyping can be presented as a cycle with three stages:.

Managing the Design Process-Implementing Design: An Essential Manual for the Working Designer

Prototypes range from rough sketches on a piece of paper low-fidelity prototypes to interactive simulations that look and function like a real product high-fidelity prototypes. A lot of digital prototyping tools today help us to create prototypes with the least possible amount of effort, but sketching on a paper still remains the most important tool for any designer. The fact that anyone can participate in the design process makes sketching an ideal tool during brainstorming sessions.

Digital prototyping is the process of creating an interactive design that other people can experience themselves. Just a decade ago, in order to build a high-fidelity prototype, you actually had to code the solution using programming language. These days, prototyping tools allow non-technical designers to create high-fidelity prototypes that simulate the functionality of a final product in just a few clicks.

Avoid dummy text. Dummy text, like lorem ipsum, should be avoided in early stages of digital prototyping. Use real content to understand how it affects the overall design. Use digital prototypes as an up-to-date specification for developers.

The 9 principles of business process design

Prototyping tools such as Adobe XD allow you to spit out specification documentation in just a few clicks. At the end of the prototyping phase, the design will be ready for production. During the developer handoff, a designer must clearly communicate to the developer how every piece of the design looks and works. Design specs are detailed documents that provide information about a product, such as user interface design details colors, character styles and measurements and information flows, behaviors and functionality.

The testing and validation phase helps a product team ensure the design concept works as intended. Product testing is an art in itself. Do it right and you might get incredible, unexpected insights that might even change your product strategy. Usually, the validation phase starts when the high-fidelity design is fleshed out.


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Similar to the product research phase, this phase also varies between projects. According to the Nielsen Norman Group , if you want to select just one type of user research for your project, it should be qualitative usability testing. The basic idea behind a usability test is to check whether the design of a product works well with the target users. Gathering and analyzing verbal and non-verbal feedback from the user helps a product team create a better user experience.

Usability testing is often done formally where a researcher creates a screener, hires participants, has them come into the lab environment, records the session, etc. Usability testing can also be done informally — in the format of guerrilla testing. With guerrilla testing, a product tester goes to the nearest coffee shop, finds participants, asks them to play with a product for 10 minutes, and then gives them a small treat as a thank you.

A diary study can be used to see how users interact with a product over an extended period of time ranging from a few days to even a month or longer. During this period, study participants are asked to keep a diary and to log specific information about their activities. Usually, the diary includes open-ended questions such as:. Create clear and detailed instructions for logging. Be as specific as possible about what information you need participants to log. Remind study participants about logging. Prompt participants to fill in their diary for example, through a daily notification.

Make it possible to add screenshots to a diary. If you use a digital version of a diary, make it possible for participants to upload screenshots. Screenshots are a nice supplement for user data and will help you with future data analysis. The team will learn and improve the product. This part of the design process will often be shaped by existing branding elements, colour choices, and logos, as stipulated by the client.

Images are taking on a more significant role in web design now than ever before. Not only do high-quality images give a website a professional look and feel, but they also communicate a message, are mobile-friendly, and help build trust. Visual content is known to increase clicks, engagement, and revenue. But more than that, people want to see images on a website. Not only do images make a page feel less cumbersome and easier to digest, but they also enhance the message in the text, and can even convey vital messages without people even needing to read.

I recommend using a professional photographer to get the images right. Just keep in mind that massive, beautiful images can seriously slow down a site. I use Optimizilla to compress images without losing quality, saving on page-load times. The visual design is a way to communicate and appeal to the site's users. Thoroughly test each page to make sure all links are working and that the website loads properly on all devices and browsers.

Have one last look at the page meta titles and descriptions too. Even the order of the words in the meta title can affect the performance of the page on a search engine. Webflow has an excellent article on the pre-launch process. There may be still some elements that need fixing. Web design is a fluid and ongoing process that requires constant maintenance. Web design — and really, design in general — is all about finding the right balance between form and function. You need to use the right fonts, colours, and design motifs.

But the way people navigate and experience your site is just as important. Skilled designers should be well versed in this concept and able to create a site that walks the delicate tightrope between the two.