Design and Methodologies
The road to defining an effective and functional user experience can be a journey. Depending on the complexity of your requirements, there is usually more than one way to reach the desired destination. We’ll discuss some of the more common practices, their intended purpose and what each process should yield.
These are “the basics”. This is not a comprehensive outline of the UX process but more of a general guideline. I’ve found it to be useful when explaining my process to clients and to help manage timelines and expectations.
Discovery is an essential part to developing any product. It can show you where you’ve been and take you where you want to go.
PLAN YOUR ROUTE
AND DO YOUR RESEARCH
An open-eyed approach to any journey is often best — to mitigate risk and avoid common pitfalls. Understand your stakeholders, ensure marketability and establish revenue streams.
User Experience Cartography
A journey worth taking, is a journey worth remembering. Wireframing is an important tool for quickly and effectively recording and communicating discoveries.
FOCUS ON SIMPLICITY
A pencil is
a powerful tool.
It offers the quickest route from one’s mind to paper; allowing you to capture ideas on-the-fly.
ORGANIZE AND ASSEMBLE
Throughout the initial wireframing process, you may accumulate a lot of paper work. Discard (just in a drawer) any unnecessary ideation and organize your new found treasure.
Wireframe assembly is done primarily using software. Use any tool you’d like to accomplish this task. Assemble one screen at a time and include detailed instructions about it’s functions and flow.
Keeping it simple.
Use design patterns and primitive shapes where possible to help speed things up.
Design and prototyping builds on our existing wireframe foundation. Here we’ll create our production quality user interface. Build in small segments — review, iterate and prototype often.
VALIDATE AND EVOLVE
Testing, testing, 1–2–3
Prototyping is essential to ensure your product’s flow and interface are accessible and intuitive.
UI Kits are often built through the aggregation of assets as the design process evolves. It’s important to maintain and update your collection as you progress.
DEVELOPMENT AND USER TESTING
Having completed wireframing, information architecture, prototyping, flow and design we can begin development. Development is where the magic happens, where all the parts and pieces play and work together.
OBSERVE, LISTEN AND LEARN …AND WATCH FOR BUGS
Prepare a list of actions and behaviours to watch for while testing. These will help you focus on, which functions need improvement and, which functions work well. Be observant and watch for the unexpected.
A UNIVERSAL EXPERIENCE
Thanks for taking this journey with me through the UX process. I’ve illustrated some of the basic ideas that are commonly utilized to achieve a hearty and healthy adventure. Each section outlined here is easily interchangable, reversible and repeatable. The work outlined here is intended to give you a brief glimpse into UX Project Work and — through my personal experience — how to begin and execute some of the processes.
The ultimate goal with any product is to create an experience that is universally accepted by all (ok, let’s say most) users. An experience should be natural, intuative and provide users with feedback; and most importantly it should be enjoyable and convenient to use.