The creative design process is one that is largely overlooked by a majority of our competitors. While the larger brands are fully aware of the importance of this process, most startup clients discount the importance of the design process and therefore do not appropriately assess the quality and standards of an agency's process.
At ISBX the creative design process is all encompassing and includes the following:
User Personas - Persona modeling is a critical part of the design process and involves defining the various users that may interface with the system. Software designed for an engineer may have a fundamentally different design approach versus software designed for a teacher or parent. Understanding these various personas will help us define the architecture of the application itself, which becomes increasingly important if there are multiple roles interfacing with the application at any given time.
Information Architecture - "IA" is a formal structural design process for software systems that generally culminates in the production of "Wireframes." Simply producing the wireframes does not necessarily mean an appropriate Information Architecture process was implemented. Since the process defines the locations of every interface within the mobile or web application, IA requires that the Information Architect be up to date with the industry's best practices for User Experience and User Interface Design, such that the software system is easily utilized by its intended audience.
Logo Ideation and Design - Although less relevant for established brands, the logo design process is critically important for startup clients and new brands. ISBX will undergo a formal logo ideation process that will help establish the core identity of the application by tapping into the vision of the product owner (client).
Style Sheet and Brand Guidelines - The process of defining a formal style sheet and brand guidelines is especially important for our startup clients. This helps to establish important standards for your brand such as fonts, colors, themes, logo usage, and the overall look-and-feel of your software product. This document is yours to keep and can be used to communicate the production of anything from stationery and promotional materials to the design of future products. For established brands, we can follow your brand guidelines and assure that anything we design is a mere extension of the overall corporate identity.
Defining Overall Site Flow and Map - This exercise is especially critical in funneling your users toward a "call to action" or the main feature of the website or application, and involves defining the overall page structure for the entire software system. It helps distill a multitude of ideas and information into a coherent layout and addresses questions like, "What is the priority of each page with respect to the application and user?" This process also helps us make the design process more efficient by constraining large amounts of information into defined sections.
Design Compositions - Perhaps the most readily understood part of the process is the production of the design composition or "comps." These are images of the final "look" of the various sections of your website or application, and are the primary assets used by the developer teams to construct the front-end of your software system. They are also beautiful takeaways, which can most accurately convey the overall appearance of the application to the product owner and stakeholders. While most of our clients center their attention on these comps, few understand the comprehensive and largely intangible process of exercises required to arrive at a completed set of comps.
The design of your application is just as important as the actual technology development process. It defines how a user will interact with your application, and is the most powerful representation of the perceived quality of your application. A poorly designed application will be difficult to use, reducing the level of engagement with your user and the overall utility and entertainment value of the application. A well-designed application will be intuitive and enjoyable, and oftentimes the flow through the App will be so seamless that the user will be interfacing with the major features of the application before they know it.
At ISBX our design team has been responsible for the design of web, mobile and desktop applications for some of the largest brands in the world. And yet, we apply the same process for all of our clients, whether you're a brand manager launching a new line of footwear in the largest shoe company in the world, or an entrepreneur starting your first technology company with the development of a novel and unique software product. We invite you to come in and meet us to see the passion we've put into early growth companies - our full service agency is tailored to bring you from the early stages of design, all the way through development, testing and release. Keep reading to learn more about what comes next.