UX & limited resources

Introduction

2016 is here. Human connections are the basis of good experiences. Memorable ones, if the solution design is taken into consideration the human factor. To design a balanced equation the components should be balanced in equal part: Desirability, Viability, and Feasibility. Organisations could seek for innovation solution, but in a smaller scale, a well balanced Human Centred Design uplifts the solution.

CONTEX

Instant messaging is everywhere, it has been the fastest growing behaviour, it is for most the default way of communication. People are surrounded by software that can record more data and context aware is a thing. Digital surfaces are increasingly high. On the other hand, people are impatient and more demanding than ever when facing digital products or services and having less and less time available for engaging. User experience can help: software can be programmed to make suggestions, purchase funnel can be simplified, steps can be removed. The designer should design with assumptions in mind and help save time for users.

Currently, Design is a fashioned term as is User Experience. At the same time, siloed work can be a force to improve, or not, user experience awareness around an organisation. Designer work in the real world, user experience doesn’t triumph easily.

Does business owns this type of engagement? Modern thinking and behaviours studies are at stake. Mobile first, with customer-centric processes, not company centric, is mandatory nowadays.

When working in a legacy company, not build for today’s fast moving pace, designers should work towards a user-centric mindset and help others in this journey.

Moreover, it is more about the people and their behaviour than the technology to get there. It should be. When adding new technology to existing processes, professional should consider the proximity that colleagues have, and could have based on sharing information and real time information. As people do in their personal lives, should companies retool for modern behaviours, encountering new opportunities.

Over five million Portuguese citizens are using smartphones, which adds up to 59.4% of mobile phone owners residing in the country that reflects an 83% increase since December 2012 (Marktest and ANACOM, 2015). From the same source, by December 2014, 50,4% of phone users had smartphones. Worldwide, smartphone usage has set the global mobile trends. Currently, an estimated 1.91 billion people are using the devices.

When Does Quantity Becomes Quality? When Data is a big word

Human-centered solutions where the needs, wants and limitations of the customer are determined are the foundation of HCD (Human Centered Design). When considered, the relative size of each component represents its importance and its influence on decisions making, from an HCD point of view, when developing new and existing products or services is.

How often we deal with user data in daily meetings? As Cennydd Bowles (2011) points out, most UX designers still have to work hard to make an impact in organisations that do not recognise design as a competitive advantage. So what happens at the edge? This line of thinking can be applied to every project. What is the organisation not doing? Defining and understand the edges to share knowledge.

A UX designer works at the interface between human and computer interactions. A solid understand of technology and user behaviour is required to deliver the best possible user experience. Qualitative and quantitative methods let designers treat a problem by linking symptoms to the cause. Develop better partnership with a research department is mandatory. Explaining the better outcome from extracting design insights from audiences variations, surveys and focus groups is a continuous work.

RESEARCH QUESTION

What are the challenges professionals face when implementing user-centred design inside an organisation? Is the organisation ready to accept the work and how can professional, step-by-step improve User Centered Design?

The focus of my Industry Research Project is understanding the role of the designer nowadays when advocating for User Centred Design. I’m covering how professionals can incorporate research into the process and how data is changing the way design is done. From design better services/products when research findings are introduced in the process to inform intuition and decide accordingly.

INTERVENTION

How often do we think about our audience? Focus the human-centered design lens. Designers are highly trained in their disciplines. The expertise level of the professional is not at stake. They should not be. However, when design decision are confronted with the phrase “I think that you should do this…” without data to back the assumption, a shadow of a doubt is raised and discussing turns into wishful thinking argument.

To improve UX awareness, can the principle of least effort be applied? Designers do design for people, improving their lives and experiences. To do that, the user-centred design process should be incorporated into the process, helping determine the needs and wants of the audience. Research linked with human behavior understanding sets the foundations of good design process. Engaging with people is determine to develop and foster empathy, designers need to think about the how and the why behind any user decision.

How can designers introduce data in their activities? Can professionals level up discussing doing design research? Can data improve the human-centered awareness around an organisation? When looking for solutions, designers are over-focused on their activities, and disconnection can occur when all stakeholders are not aligned.

Audience The conclusions and recommendations from this research are targeted at professionals that want to push user-centred methods inside their practice, independently of wok context, that considered using design thinking approach in day to day work. It is important to determine that this project is not a study about tools and their benefits, but how methods and way of thinking can be used to improve User Experience and professional experience. The work can be read from two perspectives:

  • the individual one, the designer wanting to improve UX practice
  • the organisation that wishes to incorporate new methods and explore different process helping their professionals

Expectations for the Industry Research Project are:

  • Deliver a reflection work that is relevant to designers, independently of the context of work, that will add value to both the individual and work environment. The chosen topic is a reflexion of my professional course, from designing for the web, to User Experience advocate, adding my time as a Hyper Island student.
  • This research project is a journey to understand and deepens my understanding of Experience Design and how can designers and professionals improve their skills across industries. My project is based on the workplace, exploring the opportunity to deep the subject that I am passionate about and want to develop new knowledge and understanding in and understanding organisational ‘problems.’ Help designers find their path, not to be tricked to work environment, when it is not the best one. Aiming to understand how the designer role is a game changer and how continues learning is a mindset achievable; apply my learnings from Hyper Island.

STRUCTURE

The methods of work can turn a company into the spotlight. During Hyper Island school time, we learn from the best in the Industry, each organisation with different methods and principles. So, from a designer’s perspective, can a professional develop their methods and principles of an organisation, increasing the common knowledge, is a question that I will answer during this project.

Where otherwise stated, I will consider for this project the Designer role to be a professional that is intimate and deeply involved in the project of designing a digital product or a service, inside a company or an agency, from concept throughout development and maintenance. The areas of focus are divided into sections:

1. The first section focuses on the foundations of the subjects that work with design solutions, but not exclusively. “Design Thinking,” “User Experience” and “Mindset,” “Habits” and “Context” are subjects explored.

2. The second section incorporates the study of applying User Experience with limited resources, where the workplace context is evaluated adding to reflection from the outside industry. This section incorporates primary and secondary research to give a better understanding of how designers can help develop a UX practice from undercover to the spotlight.

It includes:. Research and observations about the organisation understanding of UX — survey results + maturity level. Case studies where user experience practice is crucial. From thinking to action. Ethical approach to data collection and visioning. Reflections and feedback on the case studies

. Recommendations for applying UX principles everyday and how to accelerate the UX Maturity Level

The work is presented in chapters:

Abstract Introduction The project inside the projects Literature review Process and research methodology Discussion (interviews and critical reflection) Case studies (index) Case studies: Project A Case studies: Project B Case studies: survey finding Recommendations Conclusions References


Originally published at ines-bravo-ux-ltd-resources.squarespace.com January 2016

Inês Bravo: Industry Research Project . MA Digital Media Management (PT Crew 1) — Hyper Island, London, UK . October 2015 / January 2016 Contacts www.inesbravo.com

Research project

The mindset for professionals who wants to create a better UX practice, with limited resources  —  Industry Research Project, MA Digital Media Management Hyper Island (October 2015 / January 2016)

Inês Bravo

Written by

user experience designer. strategist. visual geek. consultant. digital management. www.inesbravo.com. lisbon lover & world traveller. hyper island alumni.

Research project

The mindset for professionals who wants to create a better UX practice, with limited resources  —  Industry Research Project, MA Digital Media Management Hyper Island (October 2015 / January 2016)