With a good understanding of the business requirements and what the users need, it is possible to think on the suitable elements, it will be possible to think on the suitable elements and functionalities that will help users to complete their tasks. There is a varied number of methodologies and tools, like sketches, wireframes, lo- and hi-fidelity prototypes, ideation workshops, to mention some, that give my teammates and I a closer idea about the options that need to be designed.
Using animations has been a very useful resource in my workflow to explain functionalities and interactions that are hard to show using static wireframes or prototypes. It is very beneficial for communicating ideas to other members of the team, especially to developers in the implementation phase. That was the case when I worked at Clavister and Humbly when having an effective communication with the development team was crucial for the continuity of the project.
All decisions made in the definition and strategy phase take shape in the prototyping phase. In this step, I define all design guidelines (colours, typography, etc) and create a design system that let me use all the elements and components of views that will be designed more efficiently. Prototypes also help me validate issues and get feedback quickly to move forward in the development lifecycle. At Clavister working with prototypes was very useful because we could test new functionalities and new features of their systems with the team and some representative users.