HEADER THREE TEST
Throughout my time as a designer, I've had the pleasure of designing with various teams, products and platforms. While process, resources and teammates may be change, I have identified some personal design values I like to apply across all works. Take a look.Throughout my time as a designer,
My UX process begins with a thorough investigation of the problem we are aiming to solve. This investigation can be done using a number of methods and practices (user research, competitor analysis, data analysis, surveys and interviews). I aim to answer critical product questions like what the goal of the product is, what user value are we providing, how are we going to measure product success, and who are we designing for. Ensuring these questions are answered collaboratively and early lays a concrete foundation for the UX process to start from. By identifying the problem and understanding user needs and goals, we can generate a high level idea of what we will be designing.
- User interviews
- Contextual inquiries
- Data analysis
- Cultural probes
- Market & competitive research
At this point in my process, I like to turn the information gathered from research into useful insights that can be used to define product priorities and UX criteria. Distilling down the amassed quantity of information, and defining insights can be done by affinitization of data points, utilizing tools such as user journey maps and personas, and collaborative prioritization with all stakeholders involved. This point in the process should focus on translating user goals/painpoints into tasks which will help inform UX decisions and product functionality.
The synthesis and analysis of the research findings ensures that the proper user priorities are being addressed and the ensuing UX criteria is in aligment.
- User journey maps
- Stakeholder collaboration
Designing should be kicked off with sketches and whiteboarding. This can be done individually, or collaboratively with respective disciplines to ensure all stakeholder’s considerations are addressed. The generality of sketching allows for creative interpretation and often inspires new UX solutions. Once sketching has reached a satisfactory level, I will move to wireframing to define user flows, detail interactions, and account for edge cases. Often numerous UX explorations are considered and designed before deciding on the most effective solution that best executes the UX criteria and user needs defined earlier.
- Sketches & whiteboarding
- Identify base & edge flows
- Visual design
Prototype & Test
Creating rapid, interactive prototypes is paramount for gaining valuable feedback through user testing. Testing can be executed at any point (sketching, wireframing, paper prototyping, high-fidelity prototyping) and helps validate and verify design decisions. Once usability testing has been completed with the appropriate design artifacts, learnings should be reflected upon and changes made to account for user behaviors observed during testing.
- Rapid prototyping
- High/Low fidelity prototyping
- Test & observe
Deliver & Iterate
Once testing has been finalized and learnings have been used to refine the UX/UI, design artifacts are created for handoff to engineers. Once appropriate design artifacts have been created (UX/UI specs, motion documents, technical documents, prototypes), designers should continually check in and support engineers to ensure accurate execution is carried out. Upon implementation, further insights can be learned for additional refinement and improvement of product.
- Design artifact creation
- Motion documentation
- Support developers
- Learn & iterate
My Design Values
Throughout my time as a designer, I've had the pleasure of designing with various teams, products and platforms. While process, resources and teammates may be change, I have identified some personal design values I like to apply across all works. Take a look.
Be the connection between dots
With creative gusto, technical know-how, and oceans of empathy, designers possess a unique skillset that spans across numerous technical fields. With these hard and soft skills, designers can act as the sinew between disciplines and the agent that brings business and user needs together.
Focus on outcome, not output
Often it becomes too easy to focus on product deliverables, (whether that be design artifacts, deadlines, or a product launch) so much that we risk diminishing the value of what we initially set out to create. Designers should continually remind themselves and teammates of their inherent goals to reinforce product vision throughout the developmental pipeline.
Intuition comes from empathy
Early in the design process, research is important, but realistically it's impossible to learn everything about user before kicking off design. In these times, empathetic intuition is the best tool in a designer's toolkit. Looking through the user's eyes, listening through the user's ears, and feeling through the user's heart can be the best way to inform open design questions.