These last 6 months marked a total shift on approach from how I used to work before. I used to work for companies who wanted a mobile app made or for contracting companies that relayed their work to me. On this particular project I’m working to make an internal application that will be used directly by employees. There is no design document. It would be more appropriate to say that there is no design direction at all. I’m supposed to not only develop the application, but come up with the design and usability for it as well.
Since it’s an internal application it doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles you would expect for an B2C application, but still it can’t be too crude to make the people using it uncomfortable or uneasy to use it.
It doesn’t need to be pretty, it needs to be usable. People need to work on it for 4+ hours a day so everything that it’s needed needs to be quickly accessible.
You can’t really design such thing in a vacuum. Look at how others do it and try to copy the good parts, but mostly stay with the people using it for months on end and you will improve it tenfold.