While a design is a solution, it is also a workflow. A good design is the result of an efficient workflow. Design thinking is the process one needs to take to design anything. From logos to car design, everything requires the design thinking process. The key to good design is to understand the objective of the design and follow the design process.
I have divided the design thinking process into two parts. In this first part, I will guide you through the foundation steps I find essential for design thinking in short steps – for designing a hypothetical mobile game or application. The steps, in order, are:
- Understanding Objective of the Design
- Research and Ideation
- Complete Userflow Map
- Sketches and Wireframing
Step 1: Understanding the Objectives of the Design
This is the first step of the design process, where you will form the objectives you want to achieve from your design.
Here, be sound and clear on what you want to design. You want to understand the nature of the project before moving on to the next step.
In this step, the objective and type of the project should be fixed and verified before beginning the research for the project. The objective itself might require some pre-research to ground up the project.
This step is crucial to objectify the "how, whom, why, where, and when" questions for the design.
Step 2: Research and Ideation
Researching is an integral part of designing.
What should you do first when researching? Go Online. Then:
- Do immersive research on the project.
- Mindmap, brainstorm and collect all the required sciences for the project.
- Document everything you gather, digitally or manually.
- Do case studies on the project if necessary.
This is one of the most important parts of building ideas and designs for mobile games because it helps you answer the questions you found in the first step related to "how, whom, why, where, and when".
Step 3: Moodboards
A moodboard is a collection of valuable inspirations and pieces to project the concept.
All images and graphics items that can help visualize the game concept and style should be collected for review and put on your moodboard. Moodboards will also help you determine the style of the game and find research on current trends and features liked by the users.
There are tonnes of website that offers you efficient moodboarding tools. Pinterest is one of the most efficient ones when it comes to moodboarding. You can pin and collect the necessary graphics in different lists of moodboards using Pinterest.
Step 4: Complete Userflow Map
This step is about building a sort of "sitemap" of the project so you can plan the micro-steps you need to take to reach the end.
All of your mind mapping and research should be considered to establish a good userflow. Previous research on games and case studies will help you build the sitemap of your project. Make sure all the features and navigation are considered in this step.
This step will give you a full insight into your project pages/screens and help you structure them efficiently. All the previous steps you went through will help you complete the user flow map.
Step 5: Sketches and Wireframing
Now, you draw. Sketch out the high/low-fidelity wireframe derived from the userflow or sitemap.
If required, divide it into phases and start sketching out the wireframes on paper or digitally.
Software like Figma, sketch, Adobe XD, Balsamiq, etc., offer great tools for digital wireframing. Figma and Balsamic are free to use online.
Thus, these are the foundation steps for your mobile app or game design process.
If you want to see how one would implement these steps, make sure to check my next blog!