When creating a website or application, having an understanding of the user is the most important part of creating a good user experience, since they are the ones who are going to be using it! At Made By Munsters, we get a better understanding of the users through an Inception Workshop. The following are a few techniques that allow us to do so.
In order to solve a problem for our user, we need to be able to define who the user is. User personas are created to give a general understanding of the types of users that directly or indirectly interact with the product. With this, we are able to identify the background, daily habits, environmental stressors, and current problems of the user.
This information provides insight about the user’s expectations and how they interact with the site. Then we apply it toward things like making decisions about design, features and functionality, and the language used throughout the site.
Card sorting is a method used to help identify information architecture of an application or website. You can use cards, post it’s, or an online tool to organize the ideas of the people you are interviewing. We do this exercise by bringing in users of whatever we are working on and asking them to create a list of topics or categories around the website, application, or tool that they would find helpful or think they need. We then have them individually structure their cards in order of importance, then we talk about it.
Using this type of exercise allows us to get a better understanding of hierarchy patterns, common themes, and labels. If your fixing a product, it can also tell you about the parts users like and dislike about the current version.
Once user personas and card sorting are complete, we can use the identified information to create a storyboard. This exercise helps us get an understanding of how the user will interact with the website, application, or tool and identify a user flow.
Since there should be different user personas, each represented group may come from a different entry point. For example, you could have a buyer and a seller, the buyer might start their journey from a Pinterest board but the seller would probably sign in from the homepage to see if they sold anything.
Each exercise is important because it builds off the other providing a deeper understanding about the user you are designing for. Although a project can always be improved, these techniques are good to include when learning about your user.