How to answer the question "What's your Design Process"

How to answer the question "What's your Design Process"

How to answer the question "What's your Design Process"

If you've looked for jobs in the creative field, you've likely faced this question without knowing how to respond at first. "What's your Design Process" is a direct question that may feel a bit too blunt. Let's breakdown it.

If you've looked for jobs in the creative field, you've likely faced this question without knowing how to respond at first. "What's your Design Process" is a direct question that may feel a bit too blunt. Let's breakdown it.

If you've looked for jobs in the creative field, you've likely faced this question without knowing how to respond at first. "What's your Design Process" is a direct question that may feel a bit too blunt. Let's breakdown it.

Riccardo Marconato

Feb 19, 2024

Design

Riccardo Marconato

Feb 19, 2024

Design

Riccardo Marconato

Feb 19, 2024

Design

If you've looked for jobs in the creative field, you've likely faced this question without knowing how to respond at first. "What's your Design Process" is a direct question that may feel a bit too blunt.

It's akin to asking any professional worldwide, "How do you work?" and not everyone is prepared to explain their process briefly. However, the question offers the opportunity to describe our working methods succinctly.

While our portfolio displays the results, answering this question clarifies how we typically achieve those outcomes.

Is there a perfect answer to this question?

Unfortunately, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question because each of us believes the Design Process should be expressed differently.

The company you're interviewing with understands there's no perfect Design Process and is likely more interested in how you explain your own Design Process rather than what you say. What matters most is how clearly you respond to this question.

You could have a Design Process that differs from the company's, but they might value how well you can explain yours. The interviewer listening to you likely thinks that if you can articulate your Design Process well, you'll also be able to adapt to the company's Design Process once on the team because you're a skilled communicator.

This question serves as a valid test to see if you can communicate effectively even before starting to design.

The Design Process depends on the field

I'm ready to answer this question because I have to admit that many years ago I had absolutely no idea what my Design Process was. Okay, I was drawing, but I never really thought about how and why I was drawing.

So, the answer I give every time I'm asked about my Design Process is well-prepared. I answered myself before others, realizing that it took a lot of personal analysis to come up with the following response.

Before we continue, a disclaimer is necessary. The Design Process heavily depends on the field we are working in. Some steps in the Design Process are universally valid, but others are closely related to our role. This makes things very challenging, but it's also true that if we apply as Product Designers, we can't show up for the interview with an illustrator mindset.

In the example I'll provide later, the Design Process is for the role of Product Designer for a company that designs and develops apps and services for businesses. I must mention that I'm not only a Product Designer but can also work as an Art Director, where the required skills are different but still partly overlap with the strong visual skills a Product Designer possesses.

If I were looking for a job in another role, even though it's still in the Design field, the type of Design Process I can use for that role is different, so I would need to prepare a different answer.

My Design Process as Product Designer

To provide a thorough answer, you'd normally need infinite time, not feasible in an interview.

One tip I use is to sum up the entire Design Process in under two minutes, which often does the job. The interviewer can then dive deeper with follow-up questions.

Here's how I typically handle that question:

My design process involves several key steps:

  1. I start with Research and Discovery, gathering as much information as possible.

  2. Based on my research, I create User Personas to guide my design decisions.

  3. I focus on Information Architecture to organize content logically.

  4. Then, I move on to Wireframing to visualize the layout and structure.

  5. Next, I create Prototypes for user testing and feedback.

  6. I work on Visual Design, ensuring a consistent look and feel.

  7. Interaction Design is crucial for intuitive user experiences.

  8. Testing and Iteration help me refine the design based on user feedback.

  9. I collaborate with developers for a smooth Development Handoff.

  10. Finally, I launch the product and monitor its performance for continuous improvement.

If you ask me to elaborate point by point, I could provide more details for each. If you plan to use this list for an interview, ensure you are familiar with the topics as you may be questioned about them. I assume you know them but might find it challenging to explain them briefly.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Riccardo Marconato

Creative Designer specializing in Product Design and Design Systems. Over 10 years of experience, multiple awards, and international project contributions.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Riccardo Marconato

Creative Designer specializing in Product Design and Design Systems. Over 10 years of experience, multiple awards, and international project contributions.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Riccardo Marconato

Creative Designer specializing in Product Design and Design Systems. Over 10 years of experience, multiple awards, and international project contributions.

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