Depending on the scope and timeframe of a project, my process involves discovering the problem space, creating a solutions then testing to update the team's understanding of the problem space. This usually involves the follwing:
- Continually focusing the team's design/dev process through culture design facilitation
- Interviewing stakeholders and leading brainstorm sessions
- evaluating the competitive landscape
- running usability studies
- defining use cases and creating personas
- working through flows and defining the interaction design
- creating visual design
- creating click through prototypes
A description of each step can be found in the methods section above.
A few favorite UX inspirations
Methods and deliverables
- creating a culture of creating culture: evolving the team's process at regular intervals to reflect new insights and perspectives of individuals in the team space - allowing for more clarity between team members' creative processes, minimizing miscommunications and the possibility of bruised egos (as it's the culture that's under scrutiny not someone's competency). This approach also helps the team collectively learn more.
- stakeholder interviews and brainstorm sessions: Interviewing stakeholders to build empathy and taking an audit of the current state is important to understand the problem at hand and to get a better idea of the goal. it also helps to define requirements (business, technical or end user) and to agree on priorities. In this first phase, I like to focus more on the goal and stay away from coming up with a solution too quickly.
- evaluation of the competitive landscape: Taking a look at the competitive landscape and identify established conventions helps to further define the product goals and provide a set of both gaps and tools to work with for the solution.
- User research: Setting up listening sessions to build empathy for the problem space, running a usability study is a great way to see 'real people' using the product. Feedback is helpful for uncovering roadblocks or major issues in the UI early on. The fidelity of the prototypes depends on the phase of development and nature of the solution being tested. I have successfully conducted usability studies, resulting in valuable feedback from actual users to evolve our understanding of the problem space. Before starting with the tactical design phase, it is useful to think through scenarios and use cases and prioritize them.
- Interaction design: Specifying how people will interact with the product, what steps are needed to go through a task and what type of controls make the most sense within a given context is what happens during the interaction design phase. Using Wireframes to convey a variety of ideas is the best way to allow for quick iterations.
- Visual design: Thinking about the overall layout, typography, color scheme and textures is part of creating the visual language for the product. It's also important to take branding, ques for existing conventions and the target audience into consideration. When I work on the visual design, I obsess over details such as spacing, grids, font styles and the exact color shade for an outline or gradient.
- Prototype: A prototype can be created at any step of the process, and can be used for usability tests even before a "real" product has been implemented. It can also help communicating flows or transitions to front-end developers or stakeholders, I have been using InVision for flows and transitions to 'fake' the experience on phone, tablets and desktops. Alternatively, I have been using paper sketches and Sketch to create simple screen-by-screen flows.