General Assembly UXDI Day 5

Intro to Project 2, Competitive/Comparative Analysis & User Flows, Interaction Design, and Heuristics

Busy busy busy day. And I wouldn’t expect anything less. Week Two started off with a bang, and I have a feeling it’s going to be like this from here on out. Time to buckle down!

Things I learned today:

  1. Comparative (and competitive) analysis is used to identifiy best practices and standard features, see how others are approaching them, and find ways to differentiate from or improve upon the competition. Comparisons can be done in the form of charts, graphs, even user flows.
  2. A user flow is a map of how a user interacts with a particular artifact or situation on a website. They’re used to identify choices, outcomes, scenarios, and errors. Designers use them to think at a system level (as opposed to an individual interaction level). They’re great for identifying possible problems with the user journey at a stage where little time or resources have been invested in prototyping. It’s useful to compare user flows of the same interations from different websites.
  3. Interaction design deals with the actions a user takes in an interaction. It has to do with behavior rather than abstract ideas like aesthetics, logic, or any form of expectation. It doesn’t, however, need to concern itself with emotion, which is why it’s only a subset of UX design. It’s more closely related to UI design.
  4. Heuristics are like rules of them. You use them to arrive at an optimal solution when a perfect solution isn’t attainable. There are several different systems of heuristics, such as Nielsen Norman, Apple iOS HIG, and IA heuristics (as excellently defined by Abby Covert). Although heuristics are meant to be assessed from your perspective as a designer, they’re never meant to take the place of proper user research, and they must be considered within the context of use and who the users are.
  5. IA heuristics are as follows:
  • Findable- users can easily find it
  • Accessible- easily approached/entered; also by those with disabilities
  • Clear- easy to understand/describe?-consider target demographic
  • Communicative- Tells you where you are, clear what you’re doing
  • Useful- able to complete tasks, know what to do next
  • Credible- reliable, verifiable, provides support, proper context
  • Controllable- error prevention/correction, able to adjust features, exits
  • Valuable- desirable, improves satisfaction, contribute to bottom line
  • Learnable- grasped quickly, memorable, predictable
  • Delightful- unexpected, extraordinary, different from competitors, deliberate
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