In my experience, there is a predictable order of tasks required to launch a successful product in any industry:
PHASE I – ASSESSMENT
The commencement of every product or feature development typically requires a number of discovery and planning meetings in which members from each discipline involved help define the high-level business objectives. As the UI Designer, it is important for me to have a holistic understanding of all the desires and limitations expressed by the team. From the preliminary meeting notes and whiteboard drawings, I can start to compare standards that have been set by any direct competitors and examples in other applicable industries.
When appropriate, I will compile Mood Boards and Story Boards that will help to guide the UI visual and interaction hierarchy for both myself and the team going forward.
PHASE II – EVALUATION
To achieve an experience that is both intuitive and compelling for the User requires a delicate balance of iteration and intuition. Wire-frames created in the resolution and scale of the platform help me provide a realistic foundation for the placement of all the information and interactive elements. Prototypes and user-testing help validate the intended actions for each screen or inform us if friction points need to be addressed.
Working together with the Art Director and other members of the art team where possible, my personal goal as the UI Designer is to create an art Style Guide that feels unified with all other parts of the product – I want to promote visual ideas that the entire team can feel proud to be a part of.
PHASE III – EXECUTION
The last ten percent is to integrate the final approved UI assets into the product platform, a simpler technical task in the vast repertoire of a UI Designer. On occasion, there might also be troubleshooting and quality control with a fine-tooth comb when a non-visual team member tries to make visual edits.