About Me

I'm a Product Designer working in New York City at MongoDB simplifying the power of software and data for innovators everywhere. I live in New Jersey with my wife, two cats and a dog named Indiana Jones.

My work is focused and is done with intent. My goal is to remove the complexity and introduce clarity.

I'm very passionate about building design systems that enhance the quality of the overall product, help reduce technical debt and make development faster, simpler and more efficient. I've been fortunate enough to be part of the team that established the style guide at DigitalOcean in 2015. I'm now currently working on establishing the style guide at MongoDB, introducing a system that is scalable and flexible for rapid prototyping and development. I'm also currently developing my own open-source style guide boilerplate which will be available soon, so keep those eyes peeled!

My Process

Every product/feature/project is approached with the understanding that each has their own set of challenges and requirements to get the best possible result. However, I do typically follow the same guidelines throughout the process as far as planning and executing.

Get Educated

Learn about who the product will be designed for, the problems that need to be solved and the expected outcome.

1

Research & Discovery

The research phase includes evaluating existing competitors or products with similar features to better understand the market fit. I'll also begin establishing personas and user journeys.

2

Teardown

If there is an existing product that can be audited, review it from end-to-end to identify pain points and potential UX improvements.

3

User Interviews

Running user interviews can be very beneficial to understanding the problems within the product/future product. With the research and teardown as talking points, I can get to the bottom of the problems the user is feeling as well as begin to identify the solutions.

4

Sketching

Quickly hash out or reform ideas without the fear of losing polished design work. Everyone on the team cares about design and should have the opportunity to express their thoughts during this part of the process!

5

Wireframing

Wireframing is great for identifying what does and doesn’t work. They should be done as low fidelity mockups and are meant to provide a clear direction to what the finished product will look like.

6

Prototyping

Developing a prototype may be necessary to demonstrate key functionality in the interface. A prototype is valuable for developers to understand interactions, and can also be used in additional rounds of usability testing.

7

High Fidelity Design

I'll begin to finalize design mockups including color palette and design styles if they have not been established yet. During this phase, it is a good idea to begin documenting and preparing styles and patterns for future use.

8

Front-End Development

Depending on the team structure, if it is necessary, I will build out the front-end which includes writing the HTML, CSS and Javascript.

9

Test & Iterate

Finally, we can start running back through the previous steps to test and iterate on any parts that aren’t succeeding. This includes A/B testing different designs and flows, usability testing, user surveys, continued research and design tweaks to the overall system.

10

Research & Discovery

The research phase includes evaluating existing competitors or products with similar features to better understand the market fit. I'll also begin establishing personas and user journeys.

2

User Interviews

Running user interviews can be very beneficial to understanding the problems within the product/future product. With the research and teardown as talking points, I can get to the bottom of the problems the user is feeling as well as begin to identify the solutions.

4

Wireframing

Wireframing is great for identifying what does and doesn’t work. They should be done as low fidelity mockups and are meant to provide a clear direction to what the finished product will look like.

6

High Fidelity Design

I'll begin to finalize design mockups including color palette and design styles if they have not been established yet. During this phase, it is a good idea to begin documenting and preparing styles and patterns for future use.

8

Test & Iterate

Finally, we can start running back through the previous steps to test and iterate on any parts that aren’t succeeding. This includes A/B testing different designs and flows, usability testing, user surveys, continued research and design tweaks to the overall system.

10

Reading List

These are some of the books I've read and plan to read to continue improving as a product designer.

LET'S CHAT!

Get in touch to say hello, talk about design or whatever you want!

colin.keany@gmail.com