When we start working with a client, there is no pre-set formula nor set budget. Each client is unique and thus the process, deliverables and budget will be determined by the clientʼs goals and how TrickleUp can best help achieve these goals.

We will create a project brief that frames the design objectives and lays out the desired final products. Everything in-between comes from the unique challenges of each project. We use every tool at our fingertips to uncover insights and create the best solutions. These steps provide the basic framework that allows TrickleUp to go as broad and as deep as necessary in order for us to develop truly innovative concepts for products and services that are socially, environmentally and financially sustainable.


Here we survey the world in whatever way we can in order to get a 360-degree perspective of the client, their business and the context of the new product/service. We do this in many ways, including looking at trends, analyzing the competition, and conducting field interviews. Overall we observe, listen and glean.


With a solid understanding of the landscape of the design challenge, we start brainstorming. Here we go broad; we think as expansively as possible about what this new product/service can be and what it can offer the world.

Evaluating / Researching

In this stage, we evaluate what we have learned so far and narrow down all the opportunities to the most innovative and feasible concepts until we reach the one or two ideas to push forward. Then we go deep, to research how to make these concepts successful, real world offerings that not only thrive in the marketplace but also disrupt and change it for the better.


We realize cohesioning isn’t a proper form of the word, but it best describes what we do in this phase. Here we gather and solidify the knowledge we have gained in a tangible form. Based on the design brief and objective we set forth with our clients, we produce any number of different deliverables. This might include an executive summary, research paper, overview of the new product’s function and positioning or a service’s structure and experience, a brand envisioning document or a business plan.


This is the fun part. With a firm direction in place, we create early stage and working prototypes for testing. From sketches to paper prototypes, wireframes to 3D printed prototypes, we test our concepts using as many tools as make sense. Then we continue to iterate, improving the design with each new version. The project scope and client’s needs will determine the level of evolution and refinement of the final prototypes.


Communication with our clients happens throughout the design process. We see design as a collaboration that relies on insight, expertise and excitement from the client at every step. At this last stage, we formally share the results of the process. We find the best way to communicate the new product/services in the most dynamic way. From presentations, videos, posters, books to other less traditional modes, our goal is to demonstrate what the new product/service can do and the positive impact it can make in order to get buy-in from all of the stakeholders who can help make it a reality.