My Most Powerful tools

I’ve been working on design projects for two years now.

Projects for clients, projects for my portfolio, and projects just for fun! I’ve been working on app designs, website designs, poster designs, social media post designs and logo designs. These all are vastly different fields with few similarities. One of the greatest similarities is how I start those projects.

I start all of my projects using my single most powerful tool: a tool that helps me organise the large web of ideas I have inside of my head. It’s a tool that enables me to try and sort out the correct solution with minimum effort, head in the right direction from the start, come up with better ideas at any part of the process, make decisions by comparing all the options, a tool that helps me think clearly. It’s also a tool that is accessible to everyone. A tool that’s SO simple, yet SO effective. A tool that I’ve had for years without realising its true power.

No, I’m not talking about an app, website, or a physical tool like a sword. The beast I’m talking about is pen-and-paper. My most powerful tools. The tools I use every single time I start a project.

Pen and paper help me think clearly, so it makes the most sense to start a project by writing and laying out everything for the project on paper.

That’s what I did to start my new project: Creating a charity app

I started my project with brainstorming on my favourite tool

I’m dedicating the month of September (2021) to create a Charity App. My most powerful tool, pen and paper, is helping me achieve just that.

Here’s how:

  • I started off by defining the problem I’m solving.
  • Then I worked on my solution statement, which would act as my north star, guiding me at every point of the project.
  • I listed out every idea I have for the application, and every feature I’m thinking of, along with their reasons.
  • Then I listed out everything I need to do during the project and what major things I need to work on.
  • Then with all this information in hand, I created an organization system to help me stay on track during the entire month.
  • I worked on user research by drafting questions and ideas I’d like to discuss, (you guessed it right), on paper!
  • I started ideation and brainstorming ideas in my plain white notebook.
  • I designed low fidelity, quickly hand-drawn wireframes in my notebook and judged which ideas need to go for the next level (i.e, software).

The list doesn’t end as I have many more things planned up to do, in my notebook including brainstorming the name and logo of the application, experimenting with illustrations and imagery in the app, planning out the publishing part, and much more!

My favourite and most powerful tools are the most reliable in every situation I’ve ever faced. And I’ll continue using them throughout this project. You can read more about my project here, or read my first week’s update here.

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Waris Hussain

I'm a User Experience Designer, a curious soul always keen to learn as much as possible. Here to share what I've learnt and get better at life.