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What is a design process and why do you need one?

I love to bake, but I’m not one of those people who can throw everything together and make something good. I pretty much always follow a recipe. Having a step-by-step process helps me know that the final result is going to be better than what I could guess at.

Having a design process is a lot like following a recipe. It’s easier to follow and usually results in a better design. Some projects need more time devoted to research, while others need more time dedicated toward the actual design creation. Each project is a lot like a recipe, you don’t always have the same ingredients, but you follow the steps to get to the final result.

Here is my design process:

  • Know the Objective First, I need to know what the objective of the project is - who is it for, who is the target audience, what info needs to be included, etc.

  • Research Google is an amazing resource, but I also try to remember to use books, magazines, and other materials as inspiration. Usually, a quick search on Pinterest, Dribble, or Behance can help get my creative juices flowing.

  • Brainstorm I love to use the old-school method of pencil and paper to quickly sketch out different designs or notes I have. These designs are not usually pretty. They’re messy and quick, but they help me gather my thoughts and refine my ideas.

  • Draft Sometimes sketches seem like a great idea until I start to create those ideas digitally. The first draft isn’t always the best, so I usually try several things before I settle on the final result.

  • Refine/Revisions From here I edit and refine until I either get client approval or until I am happy with the results.

  • Final Files That’s it, I’m done and now it’s time to celebrate, save those files, and get ready to start the next design!

I would love to hear more about your design process. Which part usually takes you the longest? For me, it’s between brainstorming and revisions.


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