Hello, world! Meeting new people, forming first impressions, and gaining deeper insight into a customer's world and its challenges is the most important step in the process.
Interviewing and shadowing, identifying strengths and limitations, understanding real-world scenarios and researching competitors designs are all a part of getting started.
Using the immersion research collected from the previous step, we brainstorm ways to layout the information, and refine the design with wireframes, mock-ups, and prototypes. Using three designs, we find things we like and dislike about each one, then thoughtfully incorporate them into a recommended product.
Skills in graphic design, technical writing, and marketing, as well as interaction design, engineering, information architecture, project leader, and content expert are all desired during the brainstorming phase.
Working with the development team, we break the interface into user stories, and assign level-of-difficulty ratings to each one. We prioritize this list, and work on key features to build a first release of the design. Then we evolve and add functionality with user feedback.
The first few days of a new product are surprising and rewarding. Training and communication are important. Bugs are tracked and prioritized. Customers are observed and heard. After the first few days, we hope to see customers regularly using the device. After a couple weeks, they've adapted it into their workflow, and are peer-to-peer training each other on the system. No doubt they've developed some encouraging [and some surprising!] habits, and these are taken into account as the next iteration of the design cycle begins.