Providing a Framework for Better Design Results

Jared Christensen

By Jared Christensen
Principal UX Designer
projekt202

Since the very early days of my career, I have taken interest in not just the end result of design, but the process by which that work makes it out into the world. I’ve always understood that asking the right questions and taking the right steps lead to results which are more effective. My first experiences out in the workplace did not teach me any kind of process and I could sense that my work struggled because of it.

The framework around projekt202’s entire product delivery process is unlike anything I’ve worked with before. Years of experience, trial and error, and road testing have formed a proven methodology for moving software projects from research through launch.

I was fortunate enough to be involved with visualizing this framework for both our company and our clients. Made primarily for ourselves, there is a detailed diagram which maps out all of the smallest pieces of our process and shows us which of them are essential, optional or interchangeable. A simpler, more storyboard-like illustration made for broader audiences presents our three major phases and their primary activities.

Working on these diagrams and seeing them evangelized around the company has helped me close the loop on my quest for a great design process framework. It’s nice to be able to point at a particular point on the diagram and understand “this is where I am, this is what I’ve done, and this is what’s next.” As a framework, there is the flexibility to tailor next steps to each client so that everyone gets the best possible results.

I have been particularly impacted by the longstanding emphasis that projekt202 puts upon discovery activities like observing users, drawing out client stakeholders, and compiling research insights in a way that informs and directs design activity.

Early in my career, I had the singular experience of working with a copywriter before design work began. She worked with the client to establish a “voice” for the website and produce some content. It was a revelation. With this framework laid down before me, there was noticeably less friction between me and the final design.

Formal research at projekt202 has amplified this same kind of design experience for me. Teams are blended throughout projects and, during the discovery phase, the researcher is always paired with the designer. This allows for more insights and collaboration as we tease out the common themes from research results. The overall effect is that design becomes more informed and streamlined. Blended teams mean there are no hand-offs or lost observations.

The craftsman in me always wants to strengthen the quality of what I produce, and projekt202 has helped me do just that.

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