When one runs into a problem with something—say, designing—one tends to overanalyze the process they’ve been using to try and conquer said problem. Needless to say, I’ve been doing that; call it designer’s rust from the honeymoon or just a general slump from the status quo. Nevertheless, I began to notice something that was historically an unconscious behavior for me.
Granted I haven’t attended many design talks over the past few years, so my views may be antiquated. Whenever process was brought up as a talking point, it was usually presented as a linear process:
$ ./start_designing Developing idea.............................. done. Sketching thumbnails......................... done. Converting sketches to wireframes............ done. Adding detail in Photoshop................... done. Unsuspecting developer to pass this onto? [n/n]: N Code it yourself? [y/y]: __
Script done, job done. Well, not for me it seems.
(I don’t usually sketch, but when I do, I take way too long on them.)
I present to you, My Design Process in a Diagram, presented as an Instagram. My process is circular and can start on either end depending on how scatterbrained I happen to be that day.
To be honest, this diagram formalizes this process a bit more than it should have.
For instance, if I start sketching, I’ll draw a box and then all of a sudden get an idea (hence “EUREKA!”) and move to Photoshop. I’ll draw a few boxes in Photoshop, place some text and then jump back to sketching after getting K.O.’ed with a serving of designer’s block. For the brief time that I’ve remembered to count, this happens about 10-15 times for a given mockup.
However, my brain doesn’t discriminate as this’ll happen while I’m coding or programming as well. I don’t know how most programmers flesh out their more high level (for lack of a better phrase), but I’ll write out what I wish to code in plain English, much like Behavior-Driven Development, but I dislike the concept of actually coding that way. Also, Gerkin.
So there you have it, my circular (maybe ovacular?) process. Whatever gets the job done, am I right? ;)