So my second week in Ironhack bootcamp has just finished. Here is a recap of what we did.
After the user research of the first week, we then went into preparing the prototypes. But before, we have to define the problem, and then the solution we will try to come up with.
We did the Ideation part, which consists in brainstormings and mindmappings, in order to find ideas. All kind of ideas are welcome, even the craziest ones. Then we refine more and more to choose only one (or a few) ideas to focus on. They should answer the user’s issues in the most convenient way.
Then, we need to define exactly everything that the user should be able to do in our solution (we chose to design a website). All these details are user stories. Examples: the user needs to be able to connect to her account, the user needs to be able to buy a customized quantity of a product, etc… This is a Cahier des charges in French. At the moment, we have not even think of what it could look, visually speaking. We just define all the actions or information the user needs.
Of course, it results into lots and lots of cool features. But we have to prioritize them to focus only on the most important for the MVP, i.e. the first version of the product. All the unnecessary or non-priority features are sorted into categories by order of priority.
Now that we have our general idea and features, we start working on the solution. We sort the features by categories, which will result into the site map. For example, everything that is linked to account connection will go together. A funny way to do this is Card Sorting: write all the features on cards (or post-its) and sort them. A better way is to directly ask the user on how they would prefer this to be sorted.
Until there, we only have features, but the the links and interaction between them. So we now define the user flow: how the user will go from one step to another.
We then learned about the best practices for Human Computer Interaction, so, from there, we started working on paper prototypes. Paper prototypes are a lot more fast to do than High-fidelity prototypes or even actually coding them. This is a time-saver: we quickly find out if one point needs modification.
We made the whole process, from account connection to paying process and order confirmation, as paper prototypes. After multiple drafts, we arrived to a version we found ready to be tested. We looked for 5 users to try it, and listened to their suggestions and difficulties. Our whole process was right, but some minor details were improved (labels, steps order).
We then prepare a 6-minute presentation. Yes, 6 minutes for the whole project. Our first presentation draft was too long. So we had to shorten everything and keep only the essential. It was hard, but we finally manage to fit everything in 6 min, at least during rehearsals! On the actual presentation, we exceeded by about 2 minutes (with the additional stress of course).
As a conclusion, the second week was more intense than the first one. I’ve just slept close to 12 hours before writing this article! Let’s see if I’ll sleep 24 hours the next weekend!