Assess the strengths and weaknesses of competitors against your user's needs.
Capture user behavior, pain points, motivations, and needs from contextual inquires. Group into logical pillars. Map out product features for each pillar to identify gaps, opportunities, and feature bloat.
Identifies user's thought process and desired reactions toward each task flow segment.
Visually depict scenarios with storyboards. The storyboard should show the context, the problem, the user's fears / motivations, and how the problem will be solved. I use tools like Invision to quickly create these storyboards.
Visually communicate abstract concepts with users and team members to generate feedback. I've used tools like Balsamiq, Axure and Sketch to create wireframes
Get users involved early in the design process with quick and inexpensive paper prototypes. Uncover usability issues and validate design decisions based on actual user reactions. Tools I've used to create prototyping are, Invision, JustinMInd and Marvel.
High Fidelity Mockups
Apply product branding, grid structure, Styleguide, color scheme, UX/UI standards and icons. For Hi-Fidelity desigsn I've use Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC or Sketch.
High Fidelity Prototypes
Quickly develop interactive prototypes with tools like Invision or Axure. This lets the team easily distribute and observe exactly how well the product will be received before the product gets built.