"Good design is actually a lot harder to notice than poor design, in part because good designs fit our needs so well that the design is invisible."
I love this quote because it directly relates to my past experience as a video/film editor and visual effects artist. The same concept applies - if the editing or effects are noticeable, then they become distracting and detract from a good experience.
I've used that concept throughout my previous career, and continue to follow the tenet as a UX/UI designer. I use the Double Diamond to avoid "jumping the gun" on the visual design to avoid designing from faulty assumptions.
My Design Mind
First & foremost, I like to identify constraints. Identifying deadlines, budgets and wishes, help bring compromise to ensuring realistic expectations. All that, and asking who the target audience might be, and what type of platform we're developing helps to sets the stage to for the research plan.
Heuristic evaluation • Comparative & Competitive Analysis • User Interviews • User Surveys • Contextual Inquiries • Card Sorting • User Journeys •
Once the research is done, we have to define the pain to make gains. Defining the problem statement allows for exploration of solutions. I make it a practice of backchecking proposed solutions to the research by asking questions: "When did users tell us this? Why?"
We can then explore additional methods that establish a direction for information architecture, leading to the design phase.
Affinity Mapping • Personas • User Flows • Site Maps
Design & Develop
Now for the truly fun part, putting pen to paper. Exploring what different solutions could look like after having narrowed down our target audience, and identifying business needs. After presenting our research, tests, and findings to any stakeholders in order to gain more feedback, I'll bounce back to any point within the double diamond to address lingering issues (what I refer to as Double Diamond - Backing)
Sketches • Wireframing • Low Fi Prototypes • Usability Tests • Mockups • Hi Fi Prototypes