A specific design process has been part of my life, which has taken shape from my experience and education. This design process is still evolving and it will refine more and more over time. I believe this process is similar to the scientific method and it can be used for anything.

Yusuke Imamura's Design process

1. research

This is where I research about the project. I will spend lots of time getting to know the project details and find information regarding the topic. I’ll be doing research on a specific design to simulate and understand how everything works. However, the research process is not limited to design. It can be for function or business strategies as well.

2. mind map

Mind Mapping helps me decide the direction that I want to take. It is a process that is necessary to confirm my understanding of the subject matter as well. Mind mapping helps because it creates a page with everything that I’ve researched.

3. sketch

The sketch process will be the initial ideation process. Ideas come to life as I draw it out. Everything from graphic design, web design, storyboards, animation, and even online marketing gets sketched out. Visual thumbnails are always necessary to understand the basic functions of a design.

4. mockup

I ususally use something like photoshop or illustrator to mockup my ideas. The sketches become more lively with color schemes and graphics. The mockup is the part I usually show to my clients and co-workers.

5. design

Here is where the final design becomes polished. Everything from research to mockup will be summed up here. The final design will be an enhanced version of the mockup with a lot more details. Usually includes textures and small details like mouse overlay colors and so on.

6. test

This is the final, final version that gets shown to the client or co-workers. The test stage will finalize the design and lets me know if I’ve hit the spot on the first time or not. The test stage is also where I would test out any interactive materials. Wether it is a flash navi, a css hover, jquery plugin, or a simple animation, it has to be tested for perfection.

7. redo

The redo stage will be the refining stage. The redo will let me understand what the client is really looking for. This is also a confirmation that I’ve hit all the necessary marks for my clients.

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