UX Process & Tools

Discover

Discover possibilities and explore the problem space without limits.

TECHNIQUES

  • User Interviews
  • Contextual Inquiry
  • Problem Exploration
  • Competitive Analysis

Define

Apply constraints to the possibilities to determine which matter the most and are the most feasible.

TECHNIQUES

  • Feature Prioritization
  • Feasibility Analysis
  • Tech Feasibility Analysis
  • Feature Prioritization
  • Gut check
  • Personas

Develop

Explore opportunities, make design decisions taking into consideration previous research & business goals.

TECHNIQUES

  • Sketching
  • Design Studio
  • Prototyping
  • Usability Testing
  • Co-Designing

Deliver

Finalize deliverables, 
re-validate assumptions, final testing.

TECHNIQUES

  • High fidelity mockups
  • Final testing

Tools

  • Sketch
  • Photoshop
  • Invision
  • Axure
  • Illustrator
  • OmniGraffle
  • Pop
  • Web Dev

Competitive Analysis

I analyze the competitors to understand the market trends, how the product differers, and potential opportunities. This analysis helps me understand where the product stands in the market and how people are currently solving the problem at hand.

Navigation

If a site is designed correctly, the navigation should resemble the assumed user mental model of site. In the example below, Walmart assumes that people group together dairy, eggs and cheese as they would be physically close in the supermarket.

Navigation comparison for grocery items

Features

See what elements competitors gives an idea what we are lacking and what we are doing differently. This sets a baseline for what features people expect.

Selected features for location based networking apps

User Flows

Gives insight into customer behavior. The flow also gives an idea of how the company operates and what it thinks is important.

Buying A Product Online - D’Agostino

Buying A Product Online - Whole Foods

User Research

I am not the user. I am not the user.

Great user research is the key to great UX. It is the one thing you cannot afford to cut. Conducting user interviews and ethnographic research is the only true way to empathize with users. Yes, the stakeholders are users too, they use the product in a different way. It is really enjoyable to learn about people and how they think.

Problem Exploration

Before doing user research we need to explore the problem/ brief in its various dimensions using Mona Patel’s problem exploration method. This allows me to think about the problem in different ways, why the problem is there, what it means to solve the problem, what is stopping us from solving the problem. This exploration provides some guidance into what areas should be explored during user research.

User Interviews

After creating an interview outline I create a list of questions to ask about their behavior. I also inquire about the context of these behaviors. Paying attention to the tone of voice and body language I let them speak and listen to what is said and not said.

  • General Behaviors
  • Good & Bad Networking Experiences
  • Meet New Friends & Stay in Touch
  • Mentoring & Career Growth
User interviews are the main source of empathy for the user.

Synthesizing Research

I use affinity mapping to cluster similar behaviors and attitudes. These trends become the basis for the personas.

Personas

Personas are a great tool to help create empathy for the user for all parties invovled.

Feature selection is used to decide what to sketch and prototype. It is based on:

  • User
    Research
  • Business
    Goals
  • Competitive
    Analysis
  • Technical
    Feasibility

MoSCoW Method

This method groups features into clearly defined decisions. It is subject to change throughout the design process

Sketching & Wireframing

Where the user research, business goals, empathy collide into creative possibilities.

Sketching

Sketching get my ideas out and make design decisions. Design studio focuses the team on the users and goals. Design studio collapses the ideas of the team into one design (for that screen). Any critique given must address the problem or the user goals. Visual preferences have no place during sketching.

Sketches of a grocery store product listing

Wireframing

Wireframing helps people understand the design better for usability testing. I stay in low fidelity until it passes enough usability tests.

Usability Testing

  • Make users feel welcome and comfortable.
  • Pay close attention to the language used and stick the script.

Wording matters in scripts. The wrong wording can lead a user to complete a task easily. The right wording doesn't give away the task.

Case Studies