For a long time, I’ve been interested in the routines of creative people. What habits and rhythms do painters, composers, writers, and designers get into that allow them to do their best work? While I’ve found that these routines, unsurprisingly, vary dramatically from person to person, it seems that most people still settle into a process or cadence that works well for them. And even though the specific activities of a day might change, there is still a clear structure that undergirds everything — some form of regularity that creates the opportunity for creative output.
At Foster Made, we’ve found a process that works for us and for our clients. Some elements are interchangeable — there’s plenty of room to tailor our process to fit client needs — but having a basic structure in place lays the groundwork for success. If you aren’t already familiar with our design process, we’d love to give you a quick overview of what you can expect when you work with us!
We’re confident that we do our best when our work is rooted in research and understanding. Every engagement begins with some form of Discovery. This is when we get to know you — we hear about your organization from your team and from your audiences, dive into analytics, look at the competitive landscape, and begin to pinpoint the core challenges and desired outcomes. During this phase of work, we incorporate an assortment of activities that help us best understand the problem space and project opportunities.
Discovery activities include:
When we’ve completed the formal discovery period, we get to work on user experience strategy and design. With a deep understanding of the problem space, project opportunities, and user and business goals, this is when we consider where to best focus our efforts. We might consider shifts to the information architecture or sitemap, start prioritizing content to make pages work harder and the experience more intuitive, and start wireframing, all while testing along the way. Informed by discovery and validated in testing, this work is the foundation for visual design.
UX Strategy and Design activities include:
At this point, the foundation has been laid. We have a clear sense of structure, strategy, and have already started talking about functionality. This is the stage where the interface starts to come to life. We build design systems, consider interactions, and harness brand experience to elevate interface design. Color, imagery, type, scale, and spacing come together, transforming wireframes into robust, tangible digital products.
UI Design activities include:
Our design and dev teams collaborate throughout the course of a project, but when UI designs are ready for code, our developers take the lead. With development underway, we work together to ensure that the designs are translated properly, finessing micro-interactions and animations to bring polish to the final product.
Design activities during development include:
We believe that we deliver the most value to our clients when we engage each part of the process. Committing to the process allows us to be confident in the decisions we make along the way and creates the structure to support informed creative exploration.
While we strongly advocate for utilizing our whole process, we recognize that no two projects are the same and clients will come to us with different needs, budgets, and priorities. Our process and services are inherently flexible, and our team can help gauge where to find the most value in what we offer.
If you’re in need of design services, let us know. We’d love to partner with you!