Words — language plays a huge role in my process. This is common for the higher level problems. We write out stories, flows, profiles, and theses to help make sense of a problem. But I often reason through lover level problems like interactions by writing out a description of them in a very conversational tone, proposing ideas and asking questions.
I've gotten some surprised reactions to this. I tend to sketch and draw less and instead use language before to design.
The second half of using language is discussing the work. So much of our forward momentum comes from conversation over the work. It's a way to feel through the dark in a process of discovery and find unexpected solutions. I wrote about this process here: blog.keenancummings.com