We have established clear phases for our design process. And at the start of any new project, we make sure all stakeholders know our process for design, communication and iteration - so we can keep things organized and running smoothly, and you can relax and focus on your business.
Let’s take you through our process of designing a mobile app or website and how it guides us to better results.
Kickoff & Immersion
Before we start any project, we need to get to know you. We want to gather as much information we can about your project and company, then we translate this knowledge into great design. It’s all about getting to the bottom of:
What problem are we solving?
Who are the people we are solving it for?
Why are you the person/company to solve it?
What business goal are we trying to achieve?
The goal is to identify users and their journey, determine their needs, define the scope and align business goals - all to improve the usability, accessibility, and pleasure provided in the interaction with the device and the digital product.
Research & User Stories
In order to detect who the target user is and which are their real needs (not only the ones we assume they have) we research, analyze and create user stories. As a designer, knowing the difference between “I like this...” and “The users need this...”, is the key to create real value with your product. User stories makes it easy to understand our target user, how we can solve their problem, and it makes it easy to think of our ideal user when it comes to all of our decisions. We write complete descriptions of exact users, real simulations of how the user will use the product and stories that help us imagine the product in specific situation.
We also use this phase to learn about the industry, how the market works, who is the competition, and how is the product/market fit. Finally, we brainstorm features and define scope for the first iteration of the project.
The end of this phase result in a high level project plan, roadmap and timeline for the digital product.
User Experience (UX) & Wireframing
Once we’ve defined the direction of the project, it is time to start building the design. We start with focusing on the User Experience (UX) and the flow of the application. The UX stage is a creative, analytical and iterative process where we create sketches, mockups, and wireframes for the application that we present and brainstorm with the entire team. During the UX phase, we focus on:
Functionality: We already know the user's needs and behavior from earlier phases, now we focus on what each screen and section of the product will do and which features and sections are most important in the application. We focus on functionality, behaviour and priority of content and we arrange elements in order to make them best accomplish a particular purpose.
Navigation & Information Architecture: We map and design how the user will interact with the content, generate logical hierarchies and information flows, and organize the app’s navigation.
Wireframing and prototyping: Once we have a clear vision of the user’s journey through the app, we start sketching and wireframing to set up the visual organization of each section and it’s content hierarchies. We like to start with a super loose pencil sketch to create a paper prototype of the product. This helps us set up the composition and idea of each screen. Then we take a phone picture of it and bring it into illustrator and redraw it to make digital wireframes in Sketch and linking those up on InVision early on in the process. This gives a comprehensive look at the users’ experience with the product.
User Interface (UI)
After the UX stage, when we are happy with our wireframes, user experience, structure and layout, we start thinking about the visual design of the application or the website. This is the phase that most clients seem to associate with "design". This is were we create a visual style for the digital product based on your brand identity and where we transfer the brand’s voice and creative concept to the product’s interface.
The objective of the UI stage is to apply your brand's identity to the digital product, to make the UX appealing and to generate empathy with the final users. We choose the typography, color pallets, shapes and graphics, always having in mind the user personas and the market. We want to give the product unique characteristics that differentiates it from the competition and other platforms.
In a world where design is all starting to look the same, our goal is to craft a beautiful interface with a delightful user experience that help you tell your story.
We found that this process works well for us and our collaborations. It keep things organized and running smoothly - so you can relax and focus on your business, and we can do our best work. However, as different from bigger, corporate companies, we don't have a 100-pages processes and procedures binder. We have no rules against switching things up. We welcome new ideas because we believe that's how partnerships flourish. If there is a certain way you'd prefer to work or receive our feedback, or if there is a deadline we need to work against - we are all ears. Being small means we can move quickly, skip the traditional route and experiment - and that's okay too.
And that's it more or less. We hope this helps.
— Noise Studio
Noise Studio is a creative agency that specializes in digital strategy, branding and design for sport brands & sports tech. You can follow us on Instagram, Dribbble, Behance, Linkedin, Medium and Twitter. Like us today and we will love you forever.