Design is Not a Linear Process
What I’ve learned in over 25 years as a designer is that great design involves a series of iterative cycles that encompass strategy, human understanding, problem definition, ideation, prototyping and validation. Iteration happens at every stage of the design process. This results in designs and products that solve a specific set of problems, are easy-to-use, delightful, enjoyable and visually appealing.
In a project for an automotive manufacturer our firm worked on a concept design for an augmented reality heads-up display. We produced design concepts that were clearly defined, tested, prototyped and validated using the iterative design process.
- Strategy/Discovery: Met with the automotive engineers and stakeholders to understand the parameters of the project and define goals and objectives.
- Human Understanding: We scheduled a series of one-on-one sessions with drivers to learn how they might use augmented reality in a vehicle. After each session we added to our knowledge base and iterated the following sessions based on what we had learned.
- Define and Reframe: Based on what we had learned from the strategy/discovery stage, we applied what we had learned from talking to end-users to reframe and iterate our project objectives and approach.
- Ideate: Beginning with lo-fidelity sketches and mockups, we began to design concepts for the augmented reality heads-up display. After each round of designs we met with the client to gain their feedback and iterate in the next set of design concepts.
- Design/Prototype: We took the final designs from the ideation stage and designed working prototypes that we could test with drivers in a simulator. We conducted several rounds of usability testing, iterating the prototype after each test based on what we observed and feedback that the drivers shared.
- Testing/Validation: Taking everything that had been learned from usability testing in the previous stage, we made one final iteration to the prototype so that we could test and validate the design with a set of test participants.
That’s a long way from the linear design process I practiced in college. The results, however, exceeded their expectations and reinforced the value of the iterative design process.
At GrowthX Academy, we focus on human-centered design while teaching the iterative design process. The UX Design program challenges students to iterate at every step while incorporating user feedback, proven design principles and intuitive problem-solving techniques.
To learn more about the UX Design program at GrowthX Academy, or to talk to an instructor, contact us today.