At GEICO, our design team acts like an agency for many of our business partners. I've worked with many of our business partners to be more integrated in the flow and have made some progress, but every team is at a different point. Below is my general process for working with team on projects. While it sounds like a waterfall process, the teams are included at every point and I will go back through steps as needed, particularly UX testing and prototyping.

Project KickOfF

This is where I am finding out about the project and some of the critical pieces of the project. I will often do this part at the same time as the discovery phase. What I’m trying to focus on here is what the business is looking for and what time frame they have in their minds. As much as I like to have all the time in the world, our business partners have only so many releases in a year.

Main questions for this phase:

  • What channel are they looking to design for (responsive web, app, print, etc.)?
  • What deliverables are they looking for (UX testing, mockups, etc.)?
  • What is the time frame/production release they are targeting?
  • Who are the stakeholders, interested parties, and teams to be involved?

Discovery Phase

This is where I am trying to figure out all that I can about the project and what information is available to me. The answers to these questions will lay the foundation for the rest of the project. 

Main questions for this phase:

  • Why does this project exist? What problems are we trying to solve?
  • Is this a new application/what exists today?
  • What do customers want to do, but can't?
  • What are some requirements?
  • What are some possible features? What are some user concerns?
  • What are some business/technical concerns?
  • What metrics improvements are expected or desired?
  • Who else could tell us more about problems and ideas?

wireframing and prototyping

Once I’ve collected all of the information I can, I then start wireframing out the pages and the full flow. If it's just changing a part of an existing flow, I will check to make sure the changes will fit seamlessly into the current flow

Main questions for this phase:

  • Is there someone out there that is doing this? 
  • Are there common standards around this interaction type?
  • Which design kit is the project team in?
  • Does the flow make sense?
  • Have I hit both the business and customer goals?
  • Is the prototype ready for user testing?


At this point, once I have a working prototype, I will go into user testing. The type of usability test is determined by what we are testing, what we are trying to learn, and time frame the project team has available.

Main questions for this phase:

  • What are we trying to learn from testing?
  • Which testing method would help us learn these items?
  • Who needs to be at the results meetings?

Whew. I made it to the "final" round. At this point I am taking all of the learnings and business knowledge and bringing it together for the high fidelity mockups. This is when I am using our company's design kits (or introducing new items to the kit(s) if needed). I am also double checking the experience to make sure it fits.

Main questions for this phase:

  • Have I achieved all of the customer and business goals?
  • What will the implementation process be?
  • Do we need any additional testing?
  • What will the UI validation process be?
  • Has legal signed off on the designs?
  • Have all teams seen the designs?


post design phase

Here is where I support the design phase. Depending on the team, my role here varies. At the very least, I will follow up with the team and help in the testing to ensure that the experience delivered is being implemented. On the teams with the most design integration, I'm at the developer meetings to answer any design/experience questions as they arise. If there are additional changes needed, I will work with the teams to get them on the schedule if they cannot be handled in that release.