This process should be titled "ego-centred design".
This perpetuates the idea that design is a magical process that happens when genius designers are 'inspired'.
Whereas i feel that real design is about forgetting about your own preferences and focussing on the needs of the end user every step of the way, testing your assumptions and iterating and improving things over time.
Ding ding ding.
I feel like it might work in some very artistic types of design, to give the author the benefit of a doubt. But he talks about "creating products," so. Nah.
Completely agree. 'Designer is God' fallacy. I can't tell if the author is joking or not. Clear definition of a team's multi-disciplinary process is like oil to a well functioning machine.
While this thinking has become the current zeitgeist , in actuality it only applies to task based userflows and not to any other type of design (i.e. Communication Design, Brand design, Editorial Design, Marketing Design, etc.)
Also, the idea that you will be completely forgetting your own preferences and making every decision based on your end user is quite frankly a bullshit fantasy. Nobody has the money or the time to run proper scientific user studies about visual design choices like color, type choice, grid choice, type alignment, etc etc. As long as you are not using distracting colors and UI compatible typefaces and a grid that isn't insane, these are all choices you will be making based on 'taste.' The sum total of which will have a large impact on the character of the user's experience.
Good points, although I wouldn't call user-centred design a trend, it's been around for many years, but you're right it mainly just applies to product design rather than the fluffier, harder to measure areas of the discipline.
And yes I agree that it's actually impossible to really ignore your own preferences as we're only human, and many of our biases occur subconsciously. We should still try though. The decisions we make about fonts and colours should be made based on logical reasons, such as appropriateness for the target market, relevant emotional/cultural associations, etc... Rather than just the designers taste, or "it's not distracting".
I heard a good quote the other day that sums it up nicely:
"Design is subjective only if you're too lazy to make it objective."
The thing is that human centered design was supposed to be a "addon" to other methods since the voice of the customer were forgotten. The current interpretation is that it is the only way to solve problems.
"usually I skip wires and dive straight to hi-fi mocks"
I feel like that wouldn't be received too well in an interview. I'm a fan of low-fi prototypes. They are quick to make, and the feedback tends to be more focused on the problem.
Agreed. Low-fidelity mocks are quick and painless. It becomes painful, however, when you start out with high-fidelity mocks, just to find out that your idea isn't remotely going to work. And I'm sure we've all been there many, many times.
I'm old enough to remember that wireframes originally became popular during the Web 2.0 days when everything had to be skeumorphic and needed hours of photoshop filters on top of it.
Now that we have moved past that, wireframes just aren't needed anymore. I can design a 10 screen user flow in Sketch in the same amount of time it takes to create a 10 screen wireframe. It's insanity to not think about visual at the same time. Users don't use wireframes, they use things that have been visually designed. What might feel intuitive in a wireframe might have a completely different weight and balance when brought into visual.
I was recently freelancing for a company that exclusively conducted their user interviews on wireframes. It was absurdly stupid. The idea that you can divorce the visuals from the experience is a fallacy. Asking for a users opinion about wireframes is like asking a layperson's opinion about the architectural blueprints of your corporate headquarters.
Rapid prototyping of real designs (doesn't have to be hi-if) is the way to go.
Bam. Nailed it.
I think maybe the more friendly way to frame this is that a good design process doesn't make up for bad hiring. Kind of true for any venture.
Agreed, and the title is a little misleading since the article is primarily comprised of describing a type of design process which is instead called a pattern for unexplained reasons.
Personally I don't find the word process more prescriptive than the word pattern.
Can't tell if satirical or just trying to be contrarian...
Some truths: sure, you can't get hung up on process. Doing is the most important thing. Instincts can be useful, sharing work with the team is excellent.
Lots of shaky ground: well, it turns out, the solution isn't always "find a better person," get some nuance yo. Too much reliance on instinct here and not enough getting out of the building and interacting with customers from the outset. Too much emphasis on creating the right design rather than the right product (straight to hi-fi mocks, relying on peer reactions, etc).
What's described is basically a process, but super individual. Wouldn't really want to work on a team with someone who had these types of beliefs; as soon as we actually need process for something (like ya do, eventually), hmm.
Aka, yeah, no.
This article is a disservice to less experienced designers. The more experienced you are, the more you're able to skip steps, go without rails and just wing it.
Marc's still following a process — his process, but still a process nonetheless. A junior designer is for the most part unable to have an extremely critic eye about the way they design products at the same time they design the product.
While I agree that no one should blindlessly follow any given design process, this is not the focus of the article, and his advice will hurt more than it will help.
"I create products and ideas by instinct, derived from my own aesthetic tastes and personal beliefs of how a product should look and feel after I have studied the problem. " Wow. Here I was also not sure if the author is being sarcastic or not. But I'm very sure that he has never worked on business applications or on very complex projects. Designing flows and processes and solving problems have nothing to do with aesthetic taste and "look and feel".
I get what the author is trying to say with some problems just not fitting a process, but it sounds like he just hasn't found the right process yet.
I highly recommend this book if you want to find a new way to approach a problem.
The title of this post is mis-leading (and imo incorrect).
You're talking about a design process, not a design 'pattern' (which as far as I'm aware, is something relating to user experience and interaction within software).
I think having an idea, sketching then heading straight to high-fidelity is incredibly costly and leaves you open to massive problems - have you validated any of your design assumptions with users? Definitely give people design options, ONCE you've figured out the core functionality, features and interactions.
The key to success is having a design process that is rigid enough it keeps the team on track, but also flexible enough it doesn't stifle creativity. You should have a look at some of the stuff IDEO or Futurice talk about, they've got some excellent materials that have helped myself and my colleagues when it comes to figuring out what works best for all of us, not just individuals.
Totally agree. The whole point of a process is to help a team achieve repeatable sucess (Whatever how the team defines sucess) You should see a process the activities more as a framework. A good process could help inexperienced designers to be better as well.
"A process is helpful when you don't know what to do next."
Can't remember who said this but I think about it almost every day.
Your engineers probably think you're awful if this is how you go about designing things within a product/engineering setting. BTW you can do all of this with the right process in place—running lock-step with release schedules. What good is a product's design if you can't release it in pieces and learn, anyway?
lol is this the way digg v4 and that tiiny app were designed? also that youtube tv design annihalated its metrics from what i heard...
maybe a design process would've helped?