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2018-01-21T00:52:40.917Z
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Whether you are designing a mobile app, a professional online platform or an interactive museum exhibition, it is essential to understand users and the context in which they will use your design. Traditional methods such as interviews and observations will help you to touch the surface of their lives. A deeper understanding of what your users feel and dream comes from generative techniques such as context mapping. To use this technique effectively, you need to design the probes kit with care. Learn about the three key points you should pay attention to when preparing probes for context mapping so as to take your designs to the next level “Human-centred design is premised on empathy, on the...
Would you like to facilitate successful ideation sessions? Or would you like to learn how to contribute to ideation processes in your team more effectively? In either case, you should know the ideation traps and how you can prevent yourself and your team from falling into them. You should give the following 14 important barriers to ideation your full attention in order to avoid any of their negative effects. Let’s get started. Ideation is the capability for generating, developing, actualizing, and communicating ideas. Ideation is an essential part of the design process, both in education and practice – and it’s at the heart of the Design Thinking process. Design Thinking is all about breaki...
In the human mind there are numerous areas responsible for what we refer to as emotion; collectively, these regions comprise the emotional system. Don Norman proposes the emotional system consists of three different, yet interconnected levels, each of which influences our experience of the world in a particular way. The three levels are visceral, behavioral, and reflective. The visceral level is responsible for the ingrained, automatic and almost animalistic qualities of human emotion, which are almost entirely out of our control. The behavioral level refers to the controlled aspects of human action, where we unconsciously analyze a situation so as to develop goal-directed strategies most li...
It’s not enough to do the work; you also have to get paid. One of the biggest challenges facing freelancers and business-to-business entrepreneurs alike is how to handle that moment when a client fails to pay. The good news is that, by and large, it’s a painless process which shouldn’t lead to a big fallout between the business and the client. However, sometimes you do need to take things further and knowing when that moment comes is an important skill. Perhaps, the most important aspect of client management for freelancers and business-to-business entrepreneurs is getting paid. After all, we don’t work just for the fun of the work – we do it to keep a roof over our heads, provide for our f...
The idea of shadowing someone to see what they are doing is not new. It is a technique that is widely implemented in user research. The idea is simple; the researcher accompanies the user and observes how they use the product or service within their natural environment.Shadowing also takes place in other fields of business and in particular internal business process design and human resource situations where a potential recruit learns from someone who is already handling an existing role in a business.Khoi Vin, the VP of UX at Wildcard, says; “Asking users to adopt new behaviors or even modify existing behaviors is very, very hard.” Shadowing lets you understand existing behaviors so that yo...
The idea of the minimum viable product (MVP) has been around for some time. The term itself was coined by Frank Robinson but was made popular by two influential names in product design – Steve Blank, a serial-entrepreneur and academic, and Eric Ries, the pioneer of the Lean Startup movement.What is an MVP?The simplest definition is that an MVP must be the simplest core feature set of any product that allows it to be deployed and absolutely nothing more. However, the most popular definition is; “The smallest thing that you can build that delivers customer value (and as a bonus captures some of the value back).”Author/Copyright holder: Henrik Kniberg. Copyright terms and licence: All rights re...
One of the most challenging realms to conduct user research with is when you have to conduct research with children. There are, obviously, stringent ethical and legal protocols to be kept to if you work with children but it’s not just the moral aspect of this world. Children are not miniature adults and the way we develop and design research will play a big part in whether we get the information we need or whether “children will be children” and they’d rather play in the park than with your product.Here are some great ideas that might make UX research with children yield better results for you and your team: Plan to Succeed The more detailed your plan, the more likely it is to pay off. One...
Honestly, how much do you enjoy reading research reports? And how engaging do you find them? Unsurprisingly, receiving a report with your insights into the target group may not get your clients to empathize with the potential users of their product or service optimally. Alternatively, you might consider organizing a workshop for them. This allows you to use more engaging techniques, interact with them, and get a feeling for their responses. Here, we will teach you a method for workshopping your research results to maximize the impact of your findings. Getting your stakeholders to work with your research results actively in workshops is a great way to give them a sense of ownership of your r...
No matter how big or small your user research project is, if you are going to do user research, you want to make sure that you are doing it right. You don’t want to waste your time doing research that does not truly represent your users’ opinions and behaviors. That is a waste of both your and your research participants’ time, and it’s bad for business. The first step in doing user research right is to understand best practices for the method you are using, and why best practice is, in fact, best practice. If you understand this, you can ensure that your own user research is truly relevant, you can evaluate the validity of other people’s research results, and you can explain the benefits of...
Hillary Rettig, the author of The Seven Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism and Writer’s Block says; “High Value Activities (HVAs) are within your mission, leverage, your strengths and create impact or change.”She also says; “They also create clarity and open your schedule. Delegating your non-HVA activities also helps create community. After all, they could very well be someone else’s HVAs.”It’s important to note those four components of the High Value Activity: Within your mission Within your leverage Within your strengths Creates impact or change Within YourWhat does this mean? Well, it means that you need to look for HVAs that fall...
The end goal of a Design Thinking work process is to create a solution that is desirable, feasible, and viable. This means that your product or solution should not only satisfy the needs of a user but be easy to implement and have a commercial model as well. During the bulk of your Design Thinking work process, desirability would be at the forefront, as you are concerned with testing your ideas and validating your hypotheses about your users. Towards the end of your project, however, you should bring the focus to feasibility and viability as well so that your solution can be sustainable. Let us now look at the best ways you can make sure that your design solution is feasible and viable, on t...
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,...
We humans are competitive creatures, and creators of successful online games and sports applications use this knowledge to egg us on with leader boards. However, as a designer, you can apply leader boards in so many other situations to encourage users to engage more, or produce better output. Trust that no-one wants to finish last, however fun or ‘non-competitive’ your subject matter may seem, and implement this simple design pattern to boost user interaction with your designs. Do it well, and you’ll find yourself driving increased user traffic and your product becoming the centerpiece of an entire network of communities. The Design ProblemYou have a highly competitive community where curre...
When it comes to any school of thought surrounding a new concept – there comes a point when there is a body of “accepted knowledge”. That body of knowledge then becomes sacrosanct and instead of being treated as a guide to inform our work – it becomes practical dogma. It is worth challenging such myths and seeking to explore beneath the surface of the dogma to get at the truth beneath; so that we can develop better user experiences even when we fly in the face of “what everybody knows”.Josh Clark, the designer and developer, reported in Forbes and The Next Web, has proposed that we take a closer look at mobile design and development and pick at the myths that have grown up to surround it. It...
If you run a business—you need a website. There’s simply no excuse in the information age for a freelancer or entrepreneur not to have a website. It’s important to know what your options are when it comes to developing a website for a start-up business and, as importantly, how to keep your costs under control when you’re just starting out and need your first website. Here are all the essentials you need to know to create your start-up website. Nearly all freelancers and entrepreneurs will decide that they need a website to operate their business effectively. Yet, many newbie freelancers and entrepreneurs don’t really have a clear understanding of what they expect their website to achieve. T...
Bill Gates said; “Content is King” and when it comes to the online user experience it is the 100% truth. Delivering a great user experience doesn’t just mean delivering great content – it also means providing that content in a usable and useful format that encourages reading and interaction rather than clicking out of the site because it’s unreadable.Therefore typography on the web becomes a vitally important part of the designer’s work. More than any other part of the design – choosing the right fonts and displaying those fonts in the right way will either make or break the user experience.“Typography is the use of type to advocate, communicate, celebrate, edu- cate, elaborate, illuminate,...
Empathy is an important element in Design Thinking and Human-Centred Design. What is empathy exactly? Why is empathy so important to designing solutions that actually work for people? Here, we’ll not only look at what empathy means, but will also look at how it helps design thinkers create solutions that work and, conversely, how a lack of empathy can result in product failure. We’ll also come to understand the empowering notion that everyone can master empathy and design truly human-centred solutions. What Is Empathy Exactly?In a general sense, empathy is our ability to see the world through other people's eyes, to see what they see, feel what they feel, and experience things as they do. O...
So, you want to create prototypes to help in your design process or Design Thinking project. However, what kind of prototype should you create? How detailed should your prototype be? What should your prototype be created for? If you’re asking yourself these questions, then great, because you’re on the right track! We will go through the different levels of fidelity of prototypes, as well as the kinds of prototypes you can create. We’ve also created some highly useful templates that you can use to guide yourself in your prototype-making process. Afterwards, you should be in a much better place for starting to create your own prototypes. Prototypes begin as extremely rough, quick, and low-cos...
The exact history of the contextual interview in user research is a little murky. It was first alluded to in a paper by Whiteside, Bennet and Holtzblatt in 1988 which examined the use of qualitative research in design projects. However, the first complete description of the method was almost certainly proposed in 1990 by Wixon, Holtzblatt and Knox in 1990 though Holtzblatt and Beyer’s description in 1995 is considered to be the most complete.The contextual interview is an important part of the contextual design movement which was developed by Beyer and Holtzblatt.If you need a reason to conduct contextual inquiry you might want to follow Dan Ritzenthaler’s lead (he is the Senior Product Desi...
As designers, we have a powerful ally in color. It can let us work towards a number of different goals. You can use it to reinforce or highlight an idea, to provoke an emotional response from the user or to draw attention to a specific part of your website. This is, of course, in addition to making your website aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Author/Copyright holder: Inhabitat. Copyright terms and licence: Fair Use In many cases, the color scheme chosen for a website will also reflect the company’s branding and values. Color and Branding The color scheme for a website can contribute to the overall brand perception of products or services. Based on research by CCICOLOR, the Institute...