Before defining the design, we determine if there is any initial research that needs to be done. This is not always necessary, but if there are existing solutions or data that can be pulled from, I look to these sources for inspiration and direction. I prefer not to reinvent the wheel, rather improve upon it.
After this, I like to identify the problem areas for users and the business within the software. This is a process of interviewing users, stakeholders, key team members and analyzing analytics. Using the data gathered I like to use tools like personas and mind maps to share valuable insights from this initial research.
Methods Previously Used = Competitive Analysis, Persona Building, Card Sorting, Tree Testing, Expert Interviews, Literature Reviews, Sales/Support Interviews, Analytics Analysis, Mind Mapping