Neil’s UX Notes

Hi, just back filling my notes for the Blocbox case study in the next series of posts. I’ll be recording the thoughts behind my design decisions for Blocbox and other future projects for my portfolio.

The notes are mostly for me but anyone can chime in (if you’re reading this, thanks!). Some parts will be complete thoughts. Other parts will be quick bullet points.

Jumping in…


Introduction to User Experience Design

User experience is the design of anything with human experience as an explicit outcome and human engagement as an explicit goal. — Jesse James Garrett, Adaptive Path

UX can be applied towards ANYTHING and EVERYTHING as defined by UX pioneer Don Norman.

The program that I’m in focuses on developing UX skills for web and mobile app solutions. I hope to build on these skills and maybe expand into other not-so-internet related things. Apparently drone experience is becoming a thing. Maybe I can get into the drone scene with my background as a pilot. But first, back to focusing on web and mobile apps to learn UX basics.

Web and mobile apps can be…

  • Unintuitive
  • Difficult to use
  • Content can be unpleasant to consume

A UX professional’s role is to alleviate the issues above by moving the product aside and connecting a user directly to a solution.


4 Layers of UX Design

  1. Planning
  • Focus on the needs of the USER → meet user goals → while meeting project requirements and objectives
  • Meeting OUR needs as a designer DOES NOT necessarily mean the right things or best choices for the USER
  • Research: interview potential users, develop personas, write user stories
  • A survey is NOT THE SAME thing as a usability test
  • Plan and define a strategy for designing the app

2. Structure

  • Define the information architecture using user flows and site maps
  • Define how a person navigates the app and interprets information

3. Layout

  • Create wireframes: 1) Layout the structure for the user flows 2) complete the information design of a product 3) Display content effectively to provide proper context

4. Visuals

  • Visuals are what the user sees on the surface (stylized layer)
  • Visuals alone is not what makes the design whole
  • No planning + no structure + no layout = aesthetically pleasing product with flaws

I’ll be applying these four UX layers to a case study called Blocbox, a case study on a SaaS (Software as a Service) web application that allows people to collect and store information in a single place.

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