The Process Behind Creating Engaging Products and Experiences

Hi everyone!

We’re here to update you on the evolution of a project we’ve had going for a few years now. It started out as Balsamiq Interviews and morphed into The Process Behind.

The reason for the name change is that we want these conversations to be solely focused on the creation of a product or feature and the story behind what it took to create a particular project at their company. As part of our educational philosophy we believe that it is helpful to see and hear how professional product folks go about their work. The new name reflects this intent and focuses on each person’s process. We hope these peeks inside real work helps everyone in our community see the different ways products are created.

We’ve also changed how we produce each video. Now we ask our interviewees to help us by preparing images that show the progression of the featured project. It’s helpful to see these artifacts if you’re new to design or not. We’ve also hired an editor to help us make each video more succinct and polished, all with the hopes of telling a clear and insightful story about the creator and their work. Finally, we’ve added an emphasis on accessibility. We created original closed captions and ensure that the web page is also accessible. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s important to us that everyone has equal access to our content.

Our hope for the future is to continue to find creators who are interested in sharing their work with the world all while letting us peek into the process it took to get there. One of the hardest parts about learning how products are made is that there aren’t enough people explaining their process in an easy to consume way. We hope we can change that.

Please reach out if you have a product that you’d love to hear the story behind, or if you’re interested in talking about your product.

In the last few months we sat down with 2 content designers, a startup founder, 2 folks with flourishing side projects, and an owner of a UX design firm. They all share some incredible insights about what it takes to deliver great experiences.

Betsy Mikel

Betsy is a content designer at Mozilla, the makers of the Firefox web browser. Betsy talks about the process of redesigning Firefox’s browser application menu from the perspective of a writer. Writers follow the exact same process as a UX designer; gather the data, use wireframes, validate with user research.

We have found… that this really low fidelity wireframe process is also an excellent way to start getting alignment and to start bringing in other people into our process.

Justin Mitchell

Justin is the Founder and CEO of SoFriendly and the app and is also its lead designer. Through stories of building products for clients or their own company, Justin and I talk about the importance of writing requirements, using storyboards, and wireframing in order to help you and your users better understand what product you want to create.

Wireframes let your clients get a high level understanding of how you’re going to accomplish this through design.

Emileigh Barnes

Emileigh is a Content Strategist and leads a group of designers at Capital One working on the Capital One Cafe brand. We talk about the importance of thinking content-first, how content is design, and how pairing designers with writers makes for a powerful user experience.

One of the many ways to use wireframes is for structuring information on a page. Useful for copywriters and content designers!

Ben Ihnchak

Ben is founder of user experience design firm Fuzzy Math. We sit down to talk about design of complex software systems and his design process for it; and how simple user research, wireframes, and storytelling can engage stakeholders to create vastly improved experiences for end users.

We spend more time wireframing than on anything else because it is a critically important step in the process.

Iheanyi Ekechukwu

Iheanyi is a software engineer at GitHub, but we focus on his side project, Seeker and learn how he uses his interesting education background, a double major of Graphic Design and Computer Science, to create awesome products. One interesting takeaway is that this unique education does not bring a sense of visual design superiority, but brings the practice of proper communication and iteration to writing code.

Code, like design, is iterative. You always have to iterate and you should not have any sense of personal ownership in it.

Jonas Downey

Jonas is one of the creators of the popular weather app Hello Weather. He joins us to share the process he and his team went through to create a weather app as a side project. We also discuss what it’s like to run an app as a business and tips for future product designers, among other things.

Make something real as soon as you possibly can so you can understand more about what you’re making.

Do you want more? Then go to The Process Behind!

The goal of our ongoing interview series is to expose our community to different experts in our field. They are conversations with Founders, Product Managers, Developers, Designers, and Balsamiq users and offer up tips and best practices usually in the form of stories about how they created what they did.

We hope you enjoy them as much as we do making them. If there is a guest you think would be a great fit, send us a note!