How I Design
Spoiler: I can't tell you precisely how I design because it changes depending on the project, but this is a way to illustrate how I think about the process generally.
I could make several of these cube graphics and still not fully express everything that goes into a set of final design decisions. Brand itself could be broken down into something like the above. For now, I'll just stick with high-level process.
Distinct phases (the faces above.. man there's an opportunity for a pun here) are discovery, definition, and delivery. They contain the whole of the project. Convergence/divergence, iteration, and collaboration are what connect the phases together. Scope is essentially appetite; it's the volume of the cube. I won't bore you with defining these things since I'm definitely not breaking new ground here.
And then there's entropy, which I don't think gets enough credit. Creative work is inherently going to create all manner of stuff that doesn't make it to the end product. It could be anything from archived explorations to wanting to try out a new design tool in the middle of a project just for the heck of it. Those explorations could eventually make it into the product, or that design tool could eventually be picked up by the whole team. Entropy is not waste.
Why I Design
Anything designed requires a significant process that allows the designer to navigate complexity. Even a product's button could be peeled back like layers of an onion.
That's a big reason why I really got into design, and why I am still a designer. Solving complex problems is fun (even if most are never truly 'solved'). I won't lie though, I originally pursued digital design because I thought it would be a great way for me to make money being creative while I listened to music all day. That turned out not to be the case, but I loved it anyway.
Visual design is what drew me in, and interaction design is what kept me interested early on. I've long been the kind of person who is willing to debate, go deeper, and alter my worldview based on better data. UX methodologies gave me the ability to have greater conviction and impact, thanks to better data. And the reason I find products and businesses fascinating is empathy. How could I possibly leave out the 'e' word from a piece on design philosophy?
I want my focus, as a designer, to be this: help people become better and more efficient at something they love, or something they do often. These are the kinds of people I've helped so far:
Accountants, Controllers, and CFOs
Health & wellness content creators
Small & medium business owners
Front-of-house staff at restaurants
I look forward to adding more to the list 🚀.