This is Part 2 of a 2-part article that talks about Design Thinking. The first part, Design Thinking Foundation, can be found here.

In the previous part of our series, I had covered the first five foundation steps on the design thinking process for a hypothetical game design. These steps were about setting up a foundation for your design process, and the following five steps are about how to implement the said process.

  1. Understanding Design Elements and Principles
  2. More Ideation and Image Development
  3. Game Stylization and Design Language
  4. Prototyping and Development
  5. Testing and Iterations

Step 1: Understanding Design Elements and Principles (UI/UX Solution)

We left off the last article with a drawn wireframe. Now, we need to develop what to do next.

The sketched out hi/low-fidelity wireframe derived from the userflow or sitemap requires design elements and styles. Here, you research the graphics styles you want to use, review the moodboards and research design principles, and begin with your ideation.

When researching, you will find many design principles that can be studied and implemented in your game/app design project. All of these principles will help in the construction of a better UI/UX of the project.

Step 2: More Ideation and Image Development

Ideation and Image Development is another important part of the overall design thinking process, where all the wireframe sketches, user flow, mood boards, and design principles are applied to ideate the design style and develop graphic elements.

The image development and ideation process are essential for effective asset creation and placements. All of your moodboard images should be studied and analyzed to develop an appropriate style for your project. You should also document or sketch out everything collected from your research.

Next, various design software can help visualize the ideation sketches, like Procreate, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, etc. The ideation process is required in every design process before finalizing the style and nature of the project.

Step 3: Game Stylization and Design Language

After you have completed the ideation and image development process, the next step is to generate the game stylization and design language. This step can be understood as the theming process for the project. Here, you will lay the guideline to build assets and themes for the project.

Design Language means the consistent use of similar graphics elements, colours or volume, and typefaces to ensure overall consistency. All the ideations and workflow carried out in this process will help you create the project mockup, which is essential for the next step.

Step 4: Prototyping and Development

You should now begin to create mockups and a prototype of your game by referring to the wireframes and game stylization, and design language.

In this step, all the mockups created are consulted with the developer team, and a prototype is built. The mockup should be derived from all the previous research, ideations, sketches, stylizations, and development.

Software like Sketch, Adobe XD, Figma, which you probably used for wireframing, can also be used to create mockups and prototypes. The use of design software like Illustrator and Photoshop is discouraged when making prototypes, as they have several limitations that slow down the pace of your work.

Your prototype may go through multiple iterations before reaching a workable stage. Multiple iterations might require multiple ideations and image development.

The mockup serves as a guideline to the developer for building the working prototype for testing. It also helps designers efficiently gather the assets used in the mockup, verify them with the industry standards and sizes, and submit them to the developers.

Step 5: Testing and Iteration

The final step is to conduct multiple testing and iterations with the target audience before finishing the design. I have listed a few key things to consider during this process.

  • Take feedback from testers and developers on UI/UX.
  • Ask them to explain the flaws and embellishments in the design.
  • See how a user navigates across the application.
  • Check if the users adapt to the design principles used.

The best fit is determined after testing the UI/UX of the design, how the users interact with it, and how they navigate to their objective in the game.

Finally, after testing out multiple batches of iterations, you can choose the one that best fits the user experience.

And so concludes the second part of this two-part series. I hope this article about Design Thinking was helpful for you :)