During the discovery phase I like to learn as much about the end users as possible. I might chat with stakeholders or checkout the competition, but at this point it’s more about understanding what the user needs from the solution.
This is where I get to the nitty gritty about defining the goals of the project. User stories can be helpful but sometimes I get right into a spec document so the team I’m working with knows what we’re building.
Here comes the fun part. Sometimes there’s so much content I need to organize it and make sure the labels make sense for what they’re describing. Flow charts get drafted up and napkin sketches get flushed out in wireframes. Sometimes lo-fidelity testing gets done at this point to double check design decisions.
Even though this is a smaller step in the process, it’s the one that delivers the most impact at a glance. High fidelity mockups get created here. Depending on the complexity of the project, I might build a style guide to document design patterns as well.
While the tech requirements were defined at the beginning of the project, here’s where they get implemented. I help configure content management systems if needed, and write css and html for custom features. I hand my code over to a dev to hook up functionality at this point. Before we launch, I’ll make sure that we’ve run some sort of usability testing on the product again to verify decisions made along the way.
Just because a project has launched doesn’t mean it’s done. I improve a product’s value for it’s users and stakeholders with continuous refinement. I use analytics and more discovery exercises to prioritize and implement new features and functionality.