Recognizing the volatility of trends and opting instead for "inherent beauty" (i.e. design, tailored to its user which follows natural laws of form and function, and therefore never goes out of style).
Before I can design anything, I need to understand your company's goals and how you provide for your customers. During this time I'll also research analytics and review whatever company information I'm provided with.
User research is conducted by testing the current experience with at least 5 people selected based on the target demographic. By asking pointed questions we discover what users are struggling with your brand and platform, as well as what they like.
I use Pinterest and a private Raindrop.io account to frequently save inspirational designs for later review. When working on a project, I refer to my collections and look for additional inspiration specific to your field so we can review styles and find patterns we like.
While not typically a fan of traditional wireframing, every project requires a certain amount of concepting. Logo design starts with a period of sketching whatever ideas come to mind; websites and apps require a phase to define what content that will be displayed and in what hierarchy.
With the well of knowledge & data, and concepts to work with, we’re ready to begin design. Every web or app design I do includes a prototype (often done in code). This phase often requires a couple of meetings to review work and get feedback.
As the designer, I feel an obligation to provide a product that can be used by people regardless of physical capabilities. Refer to the accessibility guide for details.
Once the designs and prototypes are complete, it's smart to go through another cycle of tests and see if the pain points discovered in the user research phase have been reconciled.
Different projects require different types of optimization. Websites should have images carefully compressed, code minified, and SEO. Print files need to be exported using printer-friendly resolutions and colors. Apps and branding require their own optimization as well.
If it's an agile or ongoing project this process may be repeated numerous times. But for now let's celebrate!
When delivering designs, my typical procedure is to share a cloud link with any project files and documents. By default, photos are exported as JPG or PNG and graphics are exported as SVG. I design in code, however if it requires work in design software, I make those source files available. Delivering a full website project can mean publishing the site to the internet and providing CMS access.