how I make things

I usually go through the processes below for projects. It's unfinished, rough stuff that I try to keep fast and iterative.


write it down

Most of my projects/ideas start with sloppy hand-written words. I write stuff everywhere - in notebooks, on spam mail, sticky notes, and iOS notes. I hardly ever look back and reference it, but for me, writing it down helps the good stuff stick.


map it out

Visually mapping helps me make sense of convoluted things and simplify complexity. Whether it's a user flow, a set of pages, or even the structure of Javascript used in a project, I'll make a site map / graph / mindmap to help myself and others understand the scope and stay focused on the user's context.

Sketches of sitemaps Sample Sitemaps See a full site map → sitemap-samples

think big

I'm big into Sharpies and 11 x 17 paper (whiteboards too) when it comes to general layout and user flow. They help avoid detail complexity when outlining content and user interactions, and keep things focused on the big picture.

Sketches of sitemaps
Sample Sitemaps Sample Sitemaps

keep it unfinished

People don't mind telling you what they think about something if it looks unfinished. Keeping it basic helps with easy feedback & collaboration. I like to keep the first few wireframes primitive - quickly sketching stuff, then moving into boxing things in Sketch.

Wireframe Sketches Wireframes and prototypes

get it in the browser ASAP

What seems nice in Sketch or Photoshop can feel completely different in a browser. Once I’ve got some type of vision, I like to get it in the browser right away. If we're testing something out, I'll often use a tool like Axure. Otherwise, I'm faster at simply coding things using straight HTML/CSS/Javascript/CodePen to get a more accurate feel, test feasibility, try interactions, and sometimes even use as a mockup.

My Prototypes On CodePen →

Garmin campaign prototype
Axure prototype
Garmin campaign prototype

try it out

If I'm not mocking things up, and refining them directly in a browser, I’ll use Sketch or Illustrator. I'll liberally duplicate artboards in order to quickly try out alterations of similar ideas and explore adaptability.

mockups in Sketch

display it

This was taken behind my desk at work. At times it’s much tidier, but I like hanging work that's in progress. Obviously not as controlled as a UX test on a prototype, but especially when it comes to creative, it's a great way to get feedback & insights from folks.

Garmin campaign prototype