Do any of these statements sound familiar?
- “Working with designers has been frustrating. They are such divas”
- “I worked with an agency, and what they produced was okay, but it didn’t feel like they really cared about solving my problem. They did the absolute minimum and they tried to sell me on more”
- “The work my designer produced looked good, but after we launched, my customers kept having trouble figuring out what to do when they used my product”
- “The designers I worked with just didn’t ‘get’ me”
Spent most of my life in Germany before moving to the Bay Area a few years ago.
The unique perspective I bring to your business is based on my unique background: because I’m a mix of very disparate cultures, I connect subjects that other designers aren’t able to connect as easily. This leads to seeing opportunities that would stay undiscovered if you worked with someone who does not have this perspective.
I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Media System Design. Over the last decade, I’ve been applying human-centered design principles to ever larger projects. I’ve worked in all aspects of the design process at some point. I was a programmer for a while, so I understand and can communicate with your engineers as well.
Start with the people first
The first thing I do on any project is get a clear idea of the people we’re serving. There are many tactics for this, but what it boils down to is to either ask them, or watch them.
Watching people interact with your product in real-time, gives us the kind of “head-slapping” insights you can’t get from a survey.
I firmly believe that if you focus on serving the people first, your business goals will be met.
Co-create with the business partners
I like to involve all the key people in a project early and get information and feedback often. Modern design, in my view, isn’t King Designer pulling grand ideas out of the ether. Design is more like a puzzle that we are all trying to solve together, and the designer facilitates and synthesizes the information into a potential vision.
Build interactive prototypes ASAP
In my experience, the only thing that non-designers really understand is a prototype. As soon as you show people a prototype, you have those “aha” moments where it really starts clicking in their minds what we’re trying to accomplish, and the discussions move forward at lightning speed.
Stay in the lowest possible fidelity, for as long as possible
What this means is that I keep our prototypes very very basic, for as long as possible. They often look like this: