Of course I never made a planning or a process beforehand and the process changes according to the idea, but in general it often looks like something like this.
Idea to concept
I often start out with some idea I have. This can be just a hunch, but also quite practical. This idea has to be concrete, I need to know at least the category that it will belong to. Will I make an app, service, website or whatever. I often use a text file and some sketching to work out what I am more or less going to do. I always come up with the name in this phase.
Concept to image
At this point I start to make the first images, often it is a rough sketch of a screen and some logo ideas.
I try to finalize the logo and some graphic design of the app, site or whatever. I try to do as much and as possible but there is always a lot of stuff that simply is not yet designed.
It sounds rather technical but it doesn’t have to be. This is just laying out the basics that I need to work out the idea. The most obvious is registering a domain name, but generally I also set up a site in coda and if necessary I will prepare a platform to build upon. Examples of this are this site (installing wordpress) and lastminutesouvenir (installing google maps api). Apart from the technical part I work out things like opening a paypal account.
In case of a website I work out the html/css part for at least the home page in this timeslot. This timeslot is increadibly tight but generally I get it done for at least 95%.
I really often need the 2nd timeslot to finish the backend work to work properly. What I often do is have the easy parts done in day 3, and keeping the parts that I couldn’t fix straight away for day 4, strange enough a lot of these things are easily fixable in day 4 or not even necessary anymore.
With all the added functionality it often starts to look a bit messy. In this timeslot I fix this to look neat again.
Create content & test
Often I need some starting content to make something work. I also often find the need to add some extra information and put that in an FAQ. During this process I also test the application a lot (often driven by the content I fill) and find things that don’t work perfectly.
Fix bugs and launch
Now this is the tricky part. I can’t ever predict the amount and severity of the bugs I find, however I found that until now they were always fixable in this timeslot. Further more I need to launch the product.