Our process: tearing down the “agency wall”

Everyone has a process (or at least they should) and with this in mind, we approach clients from another angle; this angle is unique because we use it to see beyond the “agency wall”, which slows the creative process, and becoming embedded in a client’s team and every day process. Without the wall as a barrier, we’re better able to research, conceptualize, develop, and build digital products.

The energy that goes into designing is unique to each agency, everyone has their own process, but ours is a little different because, to us, a good, well-honed process should involve everyone on the team. Others in the same line of work focus on designing products they believe will work, while we create digital products that are backed through research, testing, and refinement. This ensures our goal of creating an experience people value.

We use a Agile/Lean UX process to better meet our clients’ needs. To be a good designer, one needs to get out of the trap of being default settings mode. As a creative design firm, we break the mold open by ditching what doesn’t work, and we do this by examining our process from start to completion with each client. Just because patterns of design may work well for one organization does not mean these patterns work uniformly for all, every need is different. We see that need, and we design for that.

Everyone knows that customers are looking at data on multiple screens, and so we design products that work on multiple devices. We are experts at optimizing the designs we build, so they can be enjoyed on screens, big and small. Below we have shared some steps we take to ensure the best product:

Clarifying assumptions: As a first step, we identify how to meet the client’s needs. We believe that in this identification, through research and testing we find the solution, and build the product. This first step of clarification helps us to work towards building something great as well and helping us define problem statements along the way.

Identifying problem statements: Problem statements are important in the creative process; what are the blockers involved? What is the best way forward? We can assess what works, what doesn’t, and how to better learn from the stops and starts along the way. We don’t look at failure as a bad thing, it is way to learn and grow. Problem statements help in this growth and result in refined and top of the line work.

Creating content, quickly: With our content development expertise, we create messages that resonate, while creating a design and development process that will deliver results within weeks instead of months. Second, is to work to create this content, fast, but with balanced accuracy and refinement, which comes from truly knowing what the client wants. By starting a dialogue with client, the process becomes more of a conversation of partners.

Making informed decisions: This approach will also give us an opportunity to apply additional research and data to the new solution we design, and give a better understanding relating to the value in balancing usability with functionality.

Asking the right questions: From experience, significant results come from having a clear vision of clients’ goals. Planning to focus on an organization’s needs and clearly defining metrics for success is hugely important, and during the process of defining what the need truly is, we offer advice and guidance.

End Product: Ed Catmull remarks,”making the process easy is not the goal; making the product great is the goal” and we believe this to be true to us as an agency as so much of being a good designer is being open to seeing data beyond the original intent. Seeing data beyond its original purpose is about having a larger understanding of the entire process, its steps, and the end goal: the final product.  Finally, the process is finished and the collaboration has yielded a product that delivers above and beyond by finding the balance of usability with functionality. The best process is one that collects feedback and has room for improvement and focuses on making a great product.

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