Each project is unique, but requires a deliberate and planned method that carefully considers the context, community, and scale of its mission.  The impact of projects range from university communities, small towns, and entire states, typically engaged with Education and advocating for underserved populations.  While the process presented illustrates an articulated approach, it remains flexible to encourage transparent and open communication between clients and team members to ensure the end product reaches and exceeds objectives while being receptive to innovative results.

Divergent & Convergent Thinking

Divergent thinking is the thought process used to generating ideas by exploring many possible solutions.  Convergent thinking is the thought process used to solve a problems systematically and logically.


1. Empathize

Prioritizing empathy from the beginning helps me and colleagues study human needs.  At this stage, learning about constraints, practices, contexts, and interactions between people, services, and products inform the project and ensure the results are oriented toward serving needs.

  • Contextual Research

  • Data Collection & Analysis

  • User Experience Research


2. Define

What exactly is the problem and how can we articulate it in a way that is true to the previously conducted research?  This stage serves as a launching point into the problem with a clear objective.

  • Affinity Diagramming

  • Insight Development

  • Goal Setting


3. Ideate

Ideation is the process where ideas are generated and serves as the fuel for Prototype and Field Testing. It's an essential creative part of the design process where there are no bad ideas, unexpected areas of innovation are uncovered, and collaboration is exciting.

  • Collaborative Brainstorming

  • Personal Idea Development

  • Mind Mapping & Concept Mapping


4. Prototype

Prototyping is the making of a simple experimental model of a solution to a design problem that people can experience.  Prototypes are not meant to function perfectly, but rather let people interact with the designs to provide feedback and propel decisions.

  • Low-Fidelity Models

  • Multiple Iterations


5. Field Test

the goal here is to identify problems with a design as early as possible, so revisions can be implemented for a final design.  Low fidelity prototypes are used for testing, depending on the development phase.  After analyzing the results of a test, several points of interest should arise, including those that caused problems and places in the design that are favorable.  Recognizing points of improvement and success are a vital part of moving a project forward into a successful product.

  • Journey Map

  • Sustainability Check

  • Impact & Effort Analysis

  • User Experience Research


6. Reflect

After a design is created, it's important to reflect on where the process was successful and what could be improved.  This reflection takes place on individual levels, in groups, and broadly between the design team and the client.  The purpose of this stage is to improve practices and become stronger communicators, designers, and leaders.

  • Growth Mindset

  • Failure Analysis