Interviewing a lot of designers I hear a lot of what their 'design process' is. Usually a strict, often copy-and-paste of a HCD framework. This isn't a bad thing. But it's hard to understand their own approach when it's mired in doing 'what they think they should do'.

Even those with a more unique take still paint themselves into a corner with 'this is how I do everything'. Most of us have probably been in this situation because we felt it was 'what we were supposed to do'. Taking what works for others and copying it.

But lately I've started to do something different. Instead of thinking 'what is my design process?' it's more interesting to ask 'what isn't my process?'

What doesn't work? What forces you to take the easy way out most of the time? What breaks down barriers between product and engineering so you loose the impact of your idea? What keeps you dragging you feet and not making any progress?

Think about these things and go from there. Because everything that doesn't fit in this should be available to you. Tools, frameworks, processes etc can be used freely and in play rather than forcing yourself into following this imaginary rulebook.