Starting a new project is in a lot of ways the hardest part. It’s the only stage of development that you’re turning nothing into something.
Luckily, there are proven methods to reduce the “empty canvas” syndrome. We’ll talk about the best ways to handle the early stages of brainstorming and concepting and how it translates into wireframing to prototyping.
Brainstorming — The Design Studio Exercise
As described in the Guide to Wireframing, brainstorming for design ideas can feel like you’re trying to grab something out of thin air, especially if you don’t have a fixed method. In these cases, its best to have organized methods to lend structure to an otherwise disorderly process.
Our favorite at UXPin is the design studio exercise, which is widely advocated by designers like Will Evans and Todd Zaki Warfel. This activity satisfies multiple functions at once: creating inspiration for ideas, building unity as a team, and unearthing possible UI design issues. More importantly, by actually involving stakeholders (instead of just asking for opinions), there’s less a risk of design by committee.
Source: Establishing Design Direction
This is a process we follow that takes a little over an hour, but helps us turn 10-15 rough ideas into 3-4 solid ones worthy of wireframing.