When starting a new project, first I start with what I know. Completing an Assumptions worksheet or group exercise to dump everything I already assume to be true out of my head clears the way for new ways of thinking. This is essential for remaining curious during the research portion of design.

From there, my team and I will conduct some preliminary research to try and draw insights from what already exists. If it's a new product, we'll look at similar ones that may already exist. All of this will help us identify which questions we want to ask and what we want to find out. 

We'll plan a Contextual Inquiry, making field visits to understand the structure and conduct man-on-the street interviews. We'll take that information and create Affinity Maps, Personas and a Service Blueprint if necessary. 

All of these exercises will inform our Design Principles. Once fleshed out, these inform the sketches, wireframes and prototypes we'll test with users. From there, we'll iterate on the design until it's ready to ship to production. 

MCTS project team: Dan Hopewell, Justin Wu, Miguel Yupangco