Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The design PROCESS

 Web Solutions process

Close…but let’s dig deeper… I'm referring to the design process. The process which produces great memorable visual designs. Unfortunately, this is also the process to which many of us forget, or just plain don't have time for. In your work environment, DO YOU HAVE TIME for the entire process? If you do, great. My experience lately has been that we as designers (jack-of-all-trades) are working at the speed of light, multi-tasking to no end, and it feels like something is missing. In fact something is missing. As a result, it’s GOOD DESIGN.

I'm a teacher of graphic design and constantly battling with students to understand the importance of following through the entire design process. But this semester I touched a few…and that was enough for me.

My objective is not to encourage you to practice my process. But merely to recognize that you may be missing out on your entire process. That your work could potentially be suffering as a result.

This process may be different from yours, but I'm sure they're very close in the fundamental nature. This gives me a guideline to follow. It’s simply devoting the time to each design problem.

1. Define problem
2. Get parameters/specifications
3. Research (client history, demographics, competition, market, technologies)
4. Brainstorm, word list
5. Thumbnail sketches
6. Collaborate
7. Digital full scale mockups (visual exploration)
8. Critique
9. Finalize art
10. Problem solved

In the past couple of years of work, I've begun to go back to the basics. The foundation that I started with. Strong fundamentals, and time spent working through problems. Sketching, brainstorming, collaborating. Not just clamoring to the computer like ants to a piece of candy on the ground. Giving ample time for exhaustive visual exploration. Considering every angle, every element, every detail. Being able to sleep at night knowing you’ve done all you could.

Taking a step back to smell the lead and ink. My work has grown as a result of adhering to this process. Practice what you preach they say. Now, I get it. That’s what teaching is all about...learning.

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