Keep in mind, there are several times that this process isn't necessarily done in this order and a lot of the time, there will be steps that will be skipped. I've been a designer for over 20 years. Most of these steps like sketches and wires can be skipped for the sheer reason that it took me 20 years to be able to skip those steps. Every project is different. Every product is different.. so in that regard, everyone's process and every process per project is different. There is nothing wrong than skipping steps to gain more time in Figma.
I spend a lot of time thinking through things in my head and bouncing ideas off of folks. The strategy behind good design understands who each of their key stakeholders are, they understand the constraints that these stakeholders operate in, and they are committed to inventing solutions that work not just for users and customers, but also work within the constraints of the business. I have spent the last 20 years trying to achieve this.
You gotta see what's out there, ya know? This may mean downloading apps in a similar industry to the product I'm working on, doing competitive analysis or, it could simply mean scrolling on Pinterest and dribbble, grabbin' that inspiration while researching competition.
This fluctuates for me. I'll doodle for a while in my notebook, drawing product flows, screen sketches and feature ideas... or, depending on the project, I'll completely skip this step.
Wires, User Flows, Personas
Wires, user flows and personas - all part of my product design process -- or some mix of those will run in tandem.
If I'm in a pinch, or, a clear vision is already set, I can easily skip parts of this step as well to remain agile. There's a misunderstanding about the design process in that, a lot of times, it's actually articulated in our heads and all we have to do is watch it come together in Figma.
HiFi Mocks and Prototyping
Wizardry in figma, creating a design system as I seamlessly work through screens; keeping pages, components and instances a little too organized (helps with development handoff!) - adding in specific animations and interactions and depending on the project, a clickable prototype
This is just the start of the design process. Supporting devs, test, QA, user research, results is the other half. Advocate for working directly with devs, and a huge fan of smaller cross-functional teams that are involved every step of the way. Be your own PM at times, it'll make you a better designer. I spend time on polish when I can because it can really elevate a product.
Keep testing, adjusting and improving
Things change all of the time. Throughout the product lifecycle, the overall environment, design conditions, the audience needs, the market, and more factors can change over time. To avoid any troubles, we keep testing, adjusting, and improving the design strategy according to new needs and changes.