I would write out my thoughts and current understanding of the problem we're trying to solve. I would go over the user flow and understand the user's role. Sometimes this also meant being part of user interviews, asking open-ended questions, and having the users demonstrate their pain points.
Once I’d gathered my ideas, I'd hash it out with the team, including my senior designer and design collaborators, and we'd explore all questions and ideas we had. Having a clear understanding of the problem was crucial for guiding us through all decision points.
When designing for a product there are a large number of decisions that need to be made, so eventually I would meet with other teams at Apple to get their input. The goal of meeting with other teams was to understand their pain points, and get a more holistic understanding of the problem we would be solving.
"If there are no technical constraints, what is the solution?"
Depending on the design requirements or specific project, I would make sure to explore 3 possibilities for my designs: mild/MVP, medium, and ideal.
The mild solution kept me grounded, while the ideal solution was often the most creative. The ideal solution is excellent for finding innovative ways to solve the problem.
The final designs and artifacts can range from white-boarding to an E2E user flow to clickable prototypes. It depends on the project.
At this point, I would await feedback from user testing and various stakeholder input. After this, my designs will have gone into development. During this stage we identify any remaining gaps that may exist, or if any requirements changed, we'd address them here as well.
Sometimes I needed to break away from the process and pivot on the fly. And sometimes I would extract principles of the process and implement it in a different way.
Adaptability and dealing with ambiguity always went a long way.
Design is hard. There are no magic solutions, but there are steps we can take to make better design decisions. Having the right team in place is a large part of this and I'm thankful for the people that helped shape my design process at Apple. I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity.
"Chris is amazing to collaborate with on our international expansion projects. He is a very quick learner and is able to share feedback and user considerations on the fly. I look forward to some day working with him again."
AND MAKE SOMETHING BIG