When it comes to Product Design, it’s extremely difficult to build something in your head. Concepts are abstract and are easily confused when kept within the friendly confines of your mind. Even during a brainstorm, it is tough to channel every idea into a clear plan unless you have a house stenographer. That said, it’s important to be as visual as possible throughout the planning process.
Here are a few things I’ve found useful in designing a product from scratch:
- Whiteboarding: sketch out your ideas for everyone to see. List every idea you can think of. Wireframe screens and layouts and garner feedback from your team.
- Mockups: be as detailed as possible when creating a mockup. Photoshop is ideal, but in a pinch, MS Paint will do the job (it’s actually a very underrated tool for creative-type work). When you’re finished, you can add the mocks to your spec to show the developer what you’re thinking.
- Proof of Concept: start creating a few of the screens and show them to your group. Don’t do too much without getting feedback, or you may waste a bunch of time and effort on something that won’t work.
None of these has to be perfect, but rather as close as possible without straining yourself. It’s more about showing your team what you’re thinking so you can reach a consensus and deliver a clear, concise spec to your development team.