Recording my design process for an all encompassing multi platform app for @SWITCHED

Because I’m a hybrid designer of sorts, it has always been a long conversation for me to convey what I do. As I explain parts of the process, people nod their head like they understand but sometimes I wonder if they really do. Recently I received an email any designer would be thrilled to read. Chad Mumm of SWITCHED asked me if I’d be willing to design an app while they filmed the entire thing.

About a month ago I went through an intense three hours going through the entire process that made sense for me within the time frame to design an all encompassing multi platform app.

I broke the process down into six phases:
1. Use cases
· Considering what people actually want to do with a weather app (thanks to the people that responded to my question on Twitter).

2. Analyzing what is already out there
· Deconstructing a couple apps and sites already out there and comparing what they do to the use cases from the first category.

3. Exploring ideas
· Creating new features that support the user experience.

4. Wireframes
· Building out the design in form.

5. Testing + prototyping
· Working details after placing the wireframes on devices.

6. Finish, test and iterate
· Look at the prototype on the device, test what works and fix what doesn’t.

Each of those steps was ten to fifteen minute sprints that I set up for myself. It wasn’t a lot of time but gave a good idea of how an app could develop. While I put a lot of pressure on myself I really enjoyed the time seeing what I could do. I highly recommend doing a crazy exercise like that once in a while to push creative constraints.

Yesterday the film and post went live on SWITCHED. I was extremely lucky to have had Chad and his crew film me. Being thrilled would be an understatement. I now have something in real life that I can point people to that shows what it is exactly that I do.

Below I’m displaying the post, the design as it would function on the different devices and a couple photos I took as I was being filmed. There’s a lot of detail to the actual design that could easily work so don’t be surprised if I turn this into something real in the next couple of months.

The Process: Michael Surtees Reconsiders the Weather (App)

SWITCHED—The Process: Michael Surtees Reconsiders the Weather (App)

SWITCHED—The Process: Michael Surtees Reconsiders the Weather (App)

In front of the filming of an app process with some fine folk from Engadget In front of the filming of an app process with some fine folk from Engadget and for "Process: Obstructed" for Switched

In front of the filming of an app process with some fine folk from Engadget In front of the filming of an app process with some fine folk from Engadget and for "Process: Obstructed" for Switched

In front of the filming of an app process with some fine folk from Engadget and for "Process: Obstructed" for Switched

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  • Richard

    Nicely done, would be cool if you were to post more of a break down of your process: images and notes etc..

  • http://designnotes.info/ michaelsurtees

    Thanks Richard. For the most part it was whiteboard to computer. You can zoom into the photo I took of the whiteboard at http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsurtees/5261432205/sizes/o/in/photostream/ The whole thing was really quick and documented in the film.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing this look into your creative process Michael! The app looks awesome, you should definitely turn it into a real app.

    Your time-boxing technique was interesting, I don’t normally do that but it seems like a great way to push yourself to just get through tasks without wasting too much time on them.

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  • Anonymous

    Thanks for explaining that process.. Excellent article..
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