Creative Process

I'm often asked what my process is, and after years of working on hundreds of projects, I've decided there are two answers to this question:

Answer 1) Get Stuff Done

I’ve been brought in on projects at every stage — at the beginning, which can be ambiguous or highly structured; toward the end, which usually involves asset generation for production; and every point in between. Following my mantra “The deadline is the bottom line” I’m able to jump in at any stage of a project and complete whatever needs to be done. I’ve built my career on meeting deadlines, whatever it takes.

Answer 2) Customer-Centered Creative Process

While it’s rare that I get to be involved in every step of a creative project, this is the general process I recommend when given the opportunity, resources, and budget:

  • 1. Understanding

    Establish a universal understanding of the problem/project. Get all stakeholders (PMs, design, engineering, etc) to answer questions about what needs to be done, for whom, why, timing, resources available, budget, etc.

  • 2. Competitive Analysis

    Review competitive products/offerings. Explore related industries/markets. Leverage established solutions and avoid reinventing the wheel.

  • 3. Concept/Brainstorm

    Brainstorm initial solutions. Determine if additional questions need to be answered about proposed concepts.

  • 4. Feedback

    Gather feedback on proposed solutions from appropriate audience: actual customers where possible, and/or stakeholders.

  • 5. Course of Action

    Review initial feedback with stakeholders, evaluate viability of implementation, agree on a course of action.

  • 6. Mockups

    Generate design mockups, wireframes, prototypes or similar proposed solutions for review.

  • 7. Customer Research/Testing

    Gather feedback on proposed solutions from actual customers/users.

  • 8. Update & Iterate

    Modify proposed solutions as needed, incorporating research and feedback. Test again where possible.

  • 9. Asset Generation

    Generate UI assets, collaborate with engineering on implementation, making concessions where needed to achieve deadlines.

  • 10. Field Observation

    Conduct in-field observation and reviews to evaluate performance of delivered solution.

This entire process, or portions of it, will be repeated to accommodate version updates and new feedback from the field.