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2018-08-17T03:00:34.522Z
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In an age of tight resources and constrained finances companies are more reluctant than ever to commit to big design projects without a thorough understanding of their chances of success. Google has developed a methodology to make the design process fast and still offer valuable insight. Forget minimum viable products and focus on prototypes and build and test in a week! The Google Design Sprint Process Overview operates in a 5 phase process. Each phase takes approximately 1 day to perform (8 hours) and all 5 phases take approximately 40 hours to execute in full. Author/Copyright holder: DX Lab Design Sprint. Copyright terms and licence: Fair Use.Like all good design processes – there is r...
User stories are a simple tool for articulating the user’s perspective. They are not long, wordy stories to be told around a camp fire but rather short (often only a single sentence) descriptions of what a user will do with a part of a system. They are written in plain English or in the language of the business in which they will be used and require no special literary gifts or linguistic talents to compose.They are particularly important in Agile environments where they facilitate the functionality of a system but can be used in any environment to ensure that design and development are focused on user needs. They deliver the “who”, “what” and “why” of user requirements in a format that can...
Service blueprints were first described by Lynn Shostack, a banking executive, back in 1982 in the Harvard Business Review. They’ve become popularized over the last few years as service design has grown as a profession. In addition to being useful in service design they are often used by operational management to gauge the efficiency of work within an organization.A service blueprint is, in essence, an extension of a customer journey map. A customer journey map specifies all the interactions that a customer will have with an organization throughout their customer lifecycle – the service blueprint goes a bit deeper and looks at all the interactions both physical and digital that support those...
The Design Thinking process cannot be done without prototyping and testing. However, for companies or teams unfamiliar with the Design Thinking method, there might be some common mindsets about prototyping that potentially undermine its effectiveness in helping you craft the optimal design solutions. Let’s look at six of the most common misconceptions about prototyping, and how to combat each so that you can avoid these pitfalls and build better products or services. If you were not (or if your team is not) familiar with Design Thinking, you might have some ideas about prototyping — what it’s meant for, when it should be done, etc. — that are actually counter-productive to the process. Th...
We all know that wireframing is a great way to test ideas in our UX projects but we also know that there are a ton of wireframing tools available to do it with. It can be hard to choose the right tool but one of the easiest ways to get an idea – is to get hands on with the tool and have a play with it. The wireframing tools in this article are all free to a greater or lesser extent. Most of them have premium options that let you extend the functionality in some way or another but all of the free options let you get to grips with the way that they work. Frame BoxFrame Box is completely free to use which may make it the right stop for those teams on incredibly limited budgets. The downside i...
Did you know that users are more likely to choose, buy and use products that meet their needs as opposed to products that just meet their wants? An Empathy map will help you understand your user’s needs while you develop a deeper understanding of the persons you are designing for. There are many techniques you can use to develop this kind of empathy. An Empathy Map is just one tool that can help you empathise and synthesise your observations from the research phase, and draw out unexpected insights about your user’s needs. An Empathy Map allows us to sum up our learning from engagements with people in the field of design research. The map provides four major areas in which to focus our atte...
The first step in any User Experience or Design Thinking process should involve getting to know your users. When starting a project from scratch or moving into a new market, you may not have any experience or a deep understanding of your users. Ethnographic research, such as user observation and interviews, will allow you to discover who your users really are, and the environments in which they live. It will provide great insights into the way that your users will interact with your product. Here are seven easy things you can do in order to maximise the effectiveness of your ethnographic research. There are specific challenges associated with ethnographic research—the main one being that it...
For most freelancers and newbie design owners, their most powerful marketing tool will be their portfolio. A portfolio is simply a collection of samples of your work that you use to demonstrate to clients that you have the experience and competence to handle their projects. As there are an awful lot of disciplines, it’s impossible to define the “perfect portfolio”—wide variances exist between disciplines—but there are some good general guidelines for creating a portfolio: Select Your Best and Most Relevant WorkMany portfolios are simply a mixed bag of work that the business owner has created over the course of his or her career. These are, generally, not terribly effective at winning work....
All the UX training in the world would be for nothing if you couldn’t get a job as a UX professional and fulfill your dream. Hiring for UX positions is difficult – recruiters need to assess many applicants’ skills, experience and attitudes towards their work. Contrary to being measured by traditional text-based résumés, UX candidates are typically assessed by looking at their portfolios. These contain a mix of facts about yourself, as well as visuals and text that describe how you tackled projects in the past. Through a UX portfolio, your aim is to demonstrate how you think and operate as a UX designer, showcasing not just the end product of your work but the process that you used to arrive...
If you’re stuck for where to get started in UX then one of the easiest things you can do is get active on social media. If you connect with the industry’s biggest names, you can learn a ton of new information, find out about job opportunities and network with many other UX designers at the same time. But where do you start? Well, we’re here for you with 20 people in UX that you absolutely have to follow on Twitter. 20 People in UX that You Have to Follow on TwitterPlease note that this list is in not in any particular order of awesomeness. It’s not a ranking scale between 1 and 20; we think everybody in this list has something noteworthy to say and we highly recommend that you tune into all...
Most people put a lot of effort into their work. Unfortunately, they often neglect themselves in the process. Time served is no longer enough to progress your career (if it ever was). You need to consciously develop your personal and professional skills to succeed and you need a plan to get from where you are to where you want to be. Developing a career map can help you focus your attention on your own development. More importantly, like any good map – it can also help you measure your progress and keep you heading in the right direction. That doesn’t mean that you might not get lost on the way but having a map means that you can take action earlier when you do get lost too. Unfortunately,...
Let’s check out a couple of words that are vital to us. Without them or their functions, life would be a nightmare. It would take ages to get anything done! Thankfully, we have categorization and labeling to help us understand our world and communicate with others.Labels and categories are great, time-saving building blocks. As user experience designers we can leverage them to communicate more efficiently and purposely. In this article, we will have a look at some design movements and how we can use them. We also hope it serves you to freshen-up your knowledge on design history!Author/Copyright holder: John Atkinson. Copyright terms and licence: All rights reserved Img sourceWe recently came...
You worked on an amazing UX project. You documented every detail and deliverable and when the time came, you began to write a UX case study about it. In the case study, you highlighted how you worked through a Design Thinking process to get to the end result; so, can you stop there and now move on to the next thing? Well, no! There’s just one more bit left to finish up and make the perfect case study. So, get ready; we will now explore how you can write the perfect conclusion to wrap it all up and leave a lasting great impression.Every start has an end – we’re not just repeating the famous quote here, because for case studies, a proper end is your last and final chance to leave a lasting gre...
Ideation is easy to define. It’s the process by which you generate, develop and then communicate new ideas. Ideas can take many forms such as verbal, visual, concrete or abstract. The principle is simple to create a process by which you can innovate, develop and actualize new products. Ideation is critical to both UX designers and learning experience designers.As Pablo Picasso, the artist, said about his creations; “I begin with an idea, and then it becomes something else.”Author/Copyright holder: visualpun.ch. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-SA 2.0Ideation does not need to be beautiful to be effective. Creating ideas is the main point rather than graphic design as you can see here.There...
Often we talk about value and we mean “financial value” a concept that can be measured in dollars and cents or pounds and pennies or whatever currency is near to hand. However, financial value is not the only motivating factor for users and consumers to invest in a product. In fact, it is the perception of value both financial and non-financial that drives the decision to adopt (or not) a product.Needs, Wants, DemandsIt’s often said that it’s important to give a user what they need through product design and not to examine wants at all. It is true that if a product fails to meet a user’s needs – they are unlikely to find it useful and thus, unlikely to adopt it.However, it is not true to say...
“The main thing in our design is that we have to make things intuitively obvious,” the founder and former CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, explained. We can easily agree that design should be intuitive. We can also easily agree that something is intuitive when we can use it without thinking about it. Making a design intuitive is much tougher. Solving this task requires an understanding of the psychology behind human interaction, specifically how humans come to understand the physical and cultural environment. In this article, you’ll learn the basic psychology behind designing intuitive user interfaces – and you’ll learn how to get started applying it. The Connection between Intuition and Experienc...
Mental models play an important role in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and interaction design. They relate to the way that a user perceives the world around them and are based in belief as opposed to being a factual concept. However, if you can understand your users' mental models, you can simulate these models within your designs to make them more usable and intuitive. Mental models are an artefact of belief. They are the beliefs that a user holds about any given system or interaction. In most instances, the belief will – to a certain extent – resemble the real life model. This is important because users will plan and predict future actions within a system based on their mental models....
Hey! But my UX design practice is perfect! Thankfully, we don’t hear that very much but the truth is – the longer we’re in a job, the better we consider ourselves to be at that job. Sometimes, it’s worth remembering that even the best professionals still have learning to be done. It’s also worth remembering that the longer we do things, the easier it is to have sloppy habits creep into our work.That’s why the experience driver is not necessarily a great driver; they may think they are – but there’s no shortage of crashes caused by people who have been driving for years. Their skills have slowly deteriorated because they’ve spent no real time on improving or maintaining them. We don’t want o...
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort.” — Paul J. Meyer, premier international authority on goal setting, motivation, time management, and personal and professional development Accessibility is not the first item we consider when we start designing a website. It is often a hidden need that we don't think about until something goes wrong. For example, let’s say you are in the middle of a design project and one of your test users tells you he can’t read the text on the screen. Then, you start analyzing what happened, and it turns out that he is one of the 8% of males in the world who has colour blind...
There are as many different definitions for the word “touchpoint” in customer experience design and marketing as there are flavors on the average restaurant menu. Why? Because these disciplines have been evolving rapidly over the last decades and terminology has become fluid rather than static. To make matters more complicated – the term “touchpoint” is also often confused with the term “channel”. Author/Copyright holder: Rosenfeld Media. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY 2.0Some simple examples of customer touchpoints. They are places of interaction with your brand rather than “channels” which are planned points of interaction.So let’s start by defining “touchpoint” in the widest and mos...