Creating a great user experience involves far more than making beautiful screens. It requires the discipline to use tested, reproducible UX processes that deliver consistent results within each project's timeline and budget.
The first step in the process is to meet with the client or internal stakeholders to gain a basic understanding of the project's overall parameters. This includes defining the goals and scope of the work, establishing timelines, and discussing expectations.
As work progresses, I feel is very important that work be shared as deliverables are created and new requirements or restrictions are uncovered. I don’t believe in having my team work in isolation, coming back to you with a “big reveal.” After every phase, we'll meet to discuss what we have learned, and build consensus around next steps.
During this phase, my team needs to learn about your business and culture, your industry, and your customers. Depending upon the complexity of your project, this could involve stakeholder and user interviews, persona development, competitive research, creating journey maps, and writing user scenarios. We also use this period to gather information on your project's technology requirements. All of this is information is used to ensure delivery of a product that meets both business and user needs.
With information about your goals and your users under our belt, we will start each sprint with a highly-structured accelerated requirements gathering session known as a Design Studio. Design Studios are moderated, in-person workshops where stakeholders use sketching techniques to further define the product. The entire session is documented by a dedicated historian who records and photographs all comments, requirements, and sketches. The goal? To end up with a single sketch which presents a clear vision of the product and its features – that all of us agree upon.
Armed with requirements, maps, and Design Studio sketches that are agreeable to everyone, my team can then create the first, fully-clickable HTML prototype of your application.
Why prototypes and not simply static screens or wireframes? Only clickable prototypes can bring an early concept “to life” for users and stakeholders. And unlike static images with "hot spots" that only simulate interactivity, HTML prototypes ensure complex interactions and designs are communicated accurately, minimizing meeting time and misunderstandings.
One prototype can communicate more than 1,000 emails.
With each sprint, our original prototype is refined based on stakeholder and user feedback. Each iteration improves the prototype’s usability, interactions, and visual design. Our prototype iterations can often be built or revised, and tests completed, within just a few days.
User tests can be completed remotely or in a dedicated usability lab. I've found that in early stages, three to five participants are usually all that is required to uncover and address most major usability or missing feature issues.
The goal of all this? A fully tested, launch-ready prototype, with high-fidelity visuals and interactivity, ready for hand-off
to the development team. In addition to the prototype, my team will prepare any necessary technical documentation to further define functional specifications or user stories for the developers.
With an approved prototype and documentation, we will meet with the development team to ensure their full understanding of the product, and how to best engage the designers while in the midst of development. Of course, because we have made sure the Development Teams have been actively engaged throughout our entire discovery and design process, that department will already be very familiar with the product and confident of their delivery and launch timelines.
These UX processes are inherently User-Centric.
They allow your company to build products the user wants, confident the user will like them.
See THE RESULTS >