UX Methods & Process
10 Steps for Success that will help you understand your own customers and their needs.
You either have a product or service that your audience consumes or utilizes, why not make it simple and easy for them to work with you? I will work directly with you to learn about your user base and find the best ways to effectively present and market to them.
10 Steps for success
The discovery process
We can better understand who your audience by going through a discovery process and exercising some of the following methods.
Interviews & Focus Groups
Having 1:1 discussions with your users/customers can help us to understand their needs, what is valuable to them, and ultimately who they are. Focus groups with a user group of 3-5 people is recommended and structured around topics or issues that you want to address can help us learn about these user’s attitudes, ideas, and desires around your product.
Personas are used to represent a user or group of users and are based on research you have conducted about your user base. Personas are used to help guide decisions you make to products, features of a product, navigation, site interactions, and design. There are two types of personas: Assumption & User Based Personas.
Assumption Personas are created from what you think the user is wanting or frustrated with and how what is being created to solve the problem will be used or interacted with. These are a great way to start, but may not be 100% accurate.
User Based Personas are created from data after conducting interviews and/or focus groups and capturing real feedback, documenting behavior patterns, documenting goals, etc. This is the most accurate type of persona to use.
An Empathy Map is a visual method of understanding how users/user groups think and feel when working to achieve a defined goal. Empathy maps can help illustrate pain points in a process that a user might experience that may not always be obvious.
Affinity Diagrams are used to organize information into categories/groups to identify themes and patterns. This allows you to easily identify patterns in your data and create more accurate business and user requirements.
Participatory Design requires inviting users, developers, designers, stakeholders, etc. to be actively engaged throughout the design process. These participants may have different problems throughout an experience and will be enabled to provide ideas for their own ideas to solve problems that may not have been evident otherwise.
Journey Mapping is when you create a visual representation of a user’s steps to complete a goal. This illustrates the process of a goal for a user from A to Z and helps identify areas of question that may pop up during research and design. Journey maps should be used throughout the different stages of a project to help clearly identify behavioral issues a user may experience and help in creating a simple/smooth user experience.
Card Sorting is an exercise that helps with organizing items into groups. Card sorting is especially beneficial with developing navigation structures and content sections.
Wireframing & Prototyping
A wireframe is a visual representation of a web page UI or web system UI that does not contain any visual design or branding elements. Wireframes are used to define hierarchy of content and where information on a page should be placed. Wireframes are typically built in a skeletal structure and designed in black and white.
A prototype is a sample version of a final product that can be used for testing and review prior to the launch of a real product. Prototypes should be fully designed and branded and allow a user to walk through an experience based on the goals that need to be tested and validated.
A/B Testing is a method of testing where you compare two different versions of something (web page, app, design differences, etc.) and compete against one another with evenly divided traffic to determine which version performs better. This allows you to used data and statistics to validate the differences in content or design you were looking to change. When developing an A/B test it is advised to test against smaller and related differences to get the most accurate data, this may require iterative testing depending on how much you are looking to validate.
Usability Testing should be performed when validating a product or service by testing it with real users and observing their behavior. Usability tests can be performed with individuals or groups, participants should be setup to perform a set of tasks while observers watch and record. The results from your test should provide clear direction for making improvements to your product or service.