Working together takes a certain amount of empathy and curiosity – which aren’t always the easiest qualities to tap into at a moment’s notice. They are, however, invaluable tools that can propel a project to the ideal outcome in less time. Building this type of collaborative environment that fosters experimentation that, if productive, requires some level of structure that many are looking to create on an enterprise scale.

With the shifting models of agencies – and highly competitive marketplace, founders and creative directors are on a constant search for a pioneering model for idea generation. The challenges throughout the lifecycle of a project can be immense, so a system of organization rooted in not only creativity but accountability has emerged as a perennial favorite.

So what process has risen to the top, providing optimized efficiency and creative flow to a team of collaborators?

By utilizing one of the most sustainable approaches to the creative process, iterative design is unique in its quality to provide structure to a collaborating group. It also allows the creative license to “color outside the lines.” The process of iterative design can be looked at like a continuous loop – a process that really doesn’t ever end. The design process is improved, optimized and polished over time, and then looked at again for new aspects, refresh opportunities and problem-solving.

Iterative Design

Iteration begins on a project immediately, with concepts coming into fruition through prototyping. The review/analyze/test phase is entered – refinements are made and prototyped again. It’s important that the cycle is run through rapid iteration so ideas have a chance at success and don’t get stale. An iterative design process is upheld by initial creative briefs backed by sketches, drawings, wireframes and style guides to help illuminate the creative flow. Much of iterative thinking is driven by a lower-tech approach with a more tactile feel – building a framework and designing the structure from there.

Now, more than ever before – clients, brands and digital requirements are placing more importance on quality content, and iterative design is delivering. The constant generation of ideas and concepts produced through the use of iterative design can be used throughout different aspects of the project to align with client and brand goals across the platform. The beauty is that virtually no creative generation goes unused or unturned.

Though it’s been around for some time, beginning with industrial design, iterative design has become the most effective and prevalent method for UX across the board. If working in a more traditional process, experimenting with an iterative process will enable the discovery of solutions that more than likely would not have been uncovered in a more linear creative process.