Concepting & ideation
‘Diverge before you converge’ is the mantra of a healthy design process. Giving yourself time to explore both the obvious and less obvious solutions to a design problem always leads to a better outcome, so we factor time into all our projects to allow for a quick and free exploration of possible solutions.
No one knows your business as well as you and your team, so we actively encourage your input during the design phase. Early on in the project we’ll setup and host co-creation workshops with the whole project team to generate and explore ideas. The aim is to allow multiple ideas to be expressed up front in order to identify one or more strong ideas to explore and test further. These co-creation workshops are a fun and open forum where everyone has a say, no matter what their job title is.
We sketch constantly throughout our projects, but it’s particularly useful during concepting and ideation where it’s typically the quickest way to get ideas out of people’s heads and shared with the team for wider discussion and improvement.
Information architecture (IA) is the process of labeling and structuring the content and flows within a website or app to improve usability and findability. We combine SEO considerations, sector conventions, and end-user insights to define the ideal groupings, labeling, and flow. IA outputs include taxonomies, sitemaps, service maps, user flows and task flows.
Content strategy ties in directly with the experience and brand strategy. ‘Content’ doesn’t just mean the text on the site – it includes anything designed to consumed by the user including the copy, images, videos, PDFs and other files.
We work with you to plan your content. By combining a content audit with our research insights, we identify what content you have and make recommendations about what you should cut, what you should keep, what you should redo and what content gaps there are to fill.
This is also an opportunity to define the ongoing content creation and publishing process, deciding who will create the content, who will edit it, how often it will be published and any other content rules.
User & task flows
We use user and task flow diagrams to map the interactions of a user as they navigate through a sequence or complete a task. These diagrams detail all the possible choices, outcomes, scenarios and errors that the user might come across, and are an effective way of defining all the screens or states required before diving into the actual interface design.
Wireframes are schematic diagrams that define the content and user interface elements that should appear on the pages of your website or app. Their lower fidelity allows us to communicate and work on solutions quickly and capture how the layout adjusts to the screen size it is being viewed on. Wireframes ultimately act as a detailed blueprint for the visual design and development phases to work from.
Used in combination with wireframes, prototypes allow us to explore and test ideas quickly and inexpensively. Their scope and complexity will vary depending on the needs of the project, but their purpose is to simulate the actual experience of a service in the context that it will be used. We validate prototypes with stakeholders and end-users, and any feedback is quickly merged back into the design.
Evaluative user testing
We use evaluative user testing to validate our design concepts and prototypes with real users. The sessions are usually either comparative (where users compare multiple options) or split (where an individual user only sees one option).
We use these sessions throughout the design phase to test anything from visual concepts to the usability of a specific task flow.
They’re best conducted in person so we can see the nuances of personal expression and body language, but we also recommend using quicker and cheaper remote user testing methods.
Visual design is more than just polish; it’s a critical part of the experience and has a strong influence on how your site or service is perceived. It’s at this point that we make decisions about the typography, information hierarchy, page proportions and balance and unity of the interface elements. This all ties in directly with any brand work that is being completed in conjunction. Outputs include design comps, style sheets and pattern libraries.
Interaction design is similar to information architecture; it’s concerned with the structure and flow of information and interface, but allows us to dig a little deeper, defining the behavior, logic, and feedback of each interface element at a more granular level.