Once a user model has been agreed to, we move into the first phase of our visual design process. We develop wireframes for really a dual purpose. They end up being very high-fidelity diagrams – as we make a point to define all user-interactions throughout the interface; and we also begin to look at the best arrangement of both content and functionality. Ultimately, this paves the way for a smooth transition to visual design.
In this phase, we first determine a full inventory of all wireframes (based on the approved workflows from the previous phase). Then, we prioritize them into batches. Wireframes tend to go through about 3-4 rounds of revisions as new details are uncovered either through design review or engineering review. Once approved by Engineering, we move to the next batch. As the first batch is completed, visual design can begin.