My Process

No two projects are ever the same, but over the years, I’ve really narrowed down a process that works best for me. By going through stages of inspiration, sketching, wireframing, resting, revising, and finalizing, I'm able interate while keeping the end goal in mind. This keeps my process structured yet flexible at the same time.


My inspiration comes from several different sources. I keep a commulative folder on my computer filled with screenshots, photos, and links that I find inspiring. Reading Smashing Magazine and Wired also keeps me inspired about the latest and greatest in the industry. Visiting art galleries, watching Tarantino movies, and rewatching every Simpsons episode also helps. The end goal is to have a vision or a theme to push the project towards.

Sketches and Whiteboarding

This is my favorite part of the process. I’m the type of person who will be doodling in meetings and has random Post It notes taped up everywhere. Because there’s no ‘bad idea’ in this stage, things easily digress into funny self-portraits and bad jokes. From previous whiteboarding sessions, I learned to sign my name backwards and draw impossible triangles. Surprisingly, the doodles normally result in a couple distinct concepts that I’m ready to take to the computer.

Wireframing and Prototyping

Growing up with Adobe products as my best friend, Photoshop and Illustrator are just two more tools in my sketchbook. I never find my creatively limited in either of those programs. Through the use of shortcuts, I can get a nice mock going pretty quickly as well as take a moment to create various options for fonts or logos. If it’s a project for the web, this is when I’ll start cleaning up the wireframes and userflows. The goal is to come up with approximately four solid options to move forward with by the end of this phase.


Once I have a couple options to choose from, I step away from my work. Depending on the project, usually the client will be sent the four options as well. An important part of being able to critique your own work is to detach yourself from recency bias. This might take the form of going out to a movie, feasting on sushi with friends, or simply getting a full night of sleep. When I’ve successfully distanced myself long enough to stop thinking about the project, I’ll take another look at the four options. Almost certainly, I’ll be able to see things that I overlooked in the prototyping stage and be able know what needs some tweaking.


Now that I’m looking at the project with fresh eyes, I’ll start revising and expanding on the original concepts. What if I pushed things further here, or scaled things back there? Does this stay true to the original concept and work towards the right goal? What does this look like in comparison to other projects that are similar? Can a new concept be introduced at this point? The revision stage also involves input from the client and my colleagues. After more cycles of mock, rest, and revise, I’ll end up with one concept that I’m going to push towards completion.

Finalize & Launch

At this stage, it’s time for the bells and whistles. I’ll go through and start kerning type and making sure everything looks crisp in different environments. If this is a coding project, I’ll add another step for testing and structured QA. If the project is being handed over to a client, I make sure they have all the original files and fonts in case they need to reference the source files later. And tada, we have a completed project. But the project doesn’t stop there because I’m notorious for going back to my work that’s at least three month’s old to re-evaluate what I would have done differently. After all, is a project ever really, truly finished?