Submit to User Testing Early in Design Process

Week one immersive guided me to embrace analog design. Move away from the keyboard. Pick up a pencil and paper. Create.

The first day consisted of project orientation and persona. My client articulated her need and reasoning concisely. I had a clear vision for design and began sketching.

During lunch the next day, our instructor invited us to participate in a Project Lab hosted by The Weather Channel on Wednesday. This was an ideal opportunity to follow the proposed schedule and conduct user testing with field professionals. That was the perfect motivation to complete my first design.

User testing changed my life. I gathered an astounding amount of data about my design through silent observation and open ended questions. Some quality information included a need for clear purpose. For example, I designed an application for cosmetic foundation. Based on visual design, the user thought it was a sunscreen application. (Definitely considering developing that at a later date!)

However, the most valuable lesson learned was to start designs in low fidelity. Resist impulse to engage the passion for visual design. Prioritize the user need over designer expression. Reduce or eliminate design debt. Reign in the graphic ego. Develop a love relationship with low fidelity.

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