I take time to understand the business requirements and project strategy - this is ultimately what success is measured against. Contextual inquiry and user interviews help gain insights from users and inform design decisions at the outset.
Data analysis often flags up issues to be addressed and is another effective way to quantify success at project completion. Competitor analysis usually informs me of an approach to take (or avoid) when solving a problem.
By creating user personas, working through user flows and defining site architecture I gain an understanding of what I am designing and who I am designing for. This clarity enables me to start the design phase.
Working ideas and concepts through to design deliverables is typically what I get most involved in - anything from quick sketches and basic wireframes to annotated mockups and UI elements.
Typically, I use rapid prototyping to communicate a distinct part of a process or interaction more fully to users and stakeholders.
I enjoy collaborating with visual designers and tech teams. I work with empathy and have a good technical understanding, which helps when collaborating on iterative projects.