There are too many design processes; which one should you follow as a beginner designer?

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“Which song do you like most”?

Does anyone ask this question to you?

I am sure if you had answered the question, you already know how complicated the answer was!

But why is it hard to answer this simple question?

Don’t tell me because I already know!

It’s because you know in your mind that there are many other songs you like, but you don’t know which song you should choose!

That’s what happens when it comes to choosing the design process.

There are just too many processes in the design industry.

Read the article to know which process you should choose.

My struggle when I was new

When I first heard the word Design thinking, I got excited to learn the ins and outs of this term.

After a while, I came across another word, Double diamond.

And then another term, Lean UX.

These different names were making me confused.

Just like choosing a most loved song, I was trying to choose the most loved design process.

But, Back in mind, I always feel stuck because almost all design processes promise to bring significant ROI, easy to follow, empathic, etc.

Until I learned the harsh truth.

Never focus on the design process.

In the upcoming points, I will give you the three reasons.

1) People who create processes try to be thought leaders in their industry.

Recently I was reading the book “forever employable”, and the author of this book is Jeff Gothelf. He is the same author who wrote the book lean UX.

In his book “Forever employable”, jeff has written that if you want to be forever employable, then take a specific topic and talk about it.

By doing this, you will become an expert on that topic.

Why am I telling you these things?

It’s because whenever you come across a new process, someone on the internet tries to build his expertise with his material.

The more you will consume their content or thought, the more that thought leader will get profit.

So, next time you come across a new design process, remember that someone on the internet is trying to build their expertise with their content.

And you, as a designer, are not restricted to following or consuming their content and process.

With this thought, let’s move on to the second reason why you should not follow any design process.

2) Will this medicine cure me?

One day, my friend was suffering from heavy acidity.

She asked for some solution, and I recommended medicine which helped me get rid of acidity past.

After a day, I followed up to check his health.

Unfortunately, that medicine didn’t work for her.

You will often come across lots of design processes that everyone will discuss, but, just like medicine, some design processes will work for you, and some will not.

So, even if you want to use some essence of the design process rather than sticking to a strict process, be an opened minded designer.

Change or modify things according to need because the same medicine will not work for you also.

As we have finished the second reason, it’s time to cover the third and the last reason.

3) The imposter design process

When I was a new designer, I was trying to learn every single design process so that I could answer design questions in the interview.

Maybe this sounds stupid reason, but deep down, I was trying to overcome my imposter syndrome.

My mind always keeps shouting hey, you don’t know how to apply the design thinking process.

Hey, you know know what process is used by Uber.

These questions kept bubbling up in my mind until I got my first design internship.

What changed after the internship?

It’s been 3 years since the first internship, and I have worked in 3 startups.

None of the companies had ever followed the design process.

As a designer, we assume that companies care about the design process.

The reality is we just try to overcome our imposter syndrome.

Companies don’t care about the process.

But, how will we design digital products if there is no process?

I know how hard it is when there is no process. Without a process, it feels like you are stuck. Everything looks like a mess. I get it!

So, for this problem, I follow the

Erik Kennedy’s universal steps

Erik Kennedy from has trained almost thousands of students in UX and UI.

Rather than following a process, he took the core of the design process and converted it into three universal steps.

No matter where you are in your design career these 3 three universal steps will always help you.

Hey, it’s much easier to follow these steps than the design process.

  • Step 1. Understanding the problem and who is the user
  • Step 2. Design a hi-fi prototype
  • Step 3. Get feedback and improve the design

Will these three steps be enough for complex software?

I know the above 3 steps look too simple.

But this is what I have been following for the last 3 years, and it has always worked for me.

Even I had used these 3 steps to design an enterprise-level cyber security software.

The Summary

Just like there is nothing like a most loved song, similarly, there is nothing like a most loved design process.

So, don’t stick to any process.

Whenever you come across a design process, you don’t need to follow their process because they are trying to be a thought leader.

If one medicine cured me doesn’t mean it will also cure you. The same goes for the process.

If you want to use some design process, be open-minded, and change or modify the process when needed.

And last, only designers care about the design process.

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Rohit Singh

Rohit Singh

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