An important role of a UX designer is not only ensuring that the wants and needs of the user are satisfied (how we wish it was so). Neither is it that all business goals are met and accomplished. It's the ability to satisfy both, whilst also doing so within the tech limitations.
And that's where I come in.
The business needs will be managed by someone, say a product owner. Their priority is ensuring business goals are heard and met.
The user's needs and wants are championed by someone like myself. We speak to, listen to and act with their best interests in mind.
But there are also the developers and tech limitations. These could involve technological restraints or financial limitations reducing the technical capabilities.
I ensure all players are heard and considered to make sure we find that sweet spot in the middle.
I embrace problems and challenges with a structured lean UX approach. I gather insights, identify what matters most, create solutions, prototype and test. The iterative nature of my process is key. This is best achieved and explained via the Double Diamond approach.
Every project is different. So the specific UX processes I apply varies depending on each individual case.
Before all else, working together is essential. Sharing thoughts, ideas and collective discussions are not only vital to any workplace or project but often the best part.
Where does your company or product stack up alongside your competitors? Analysing the strengths, weaknesses and features of not only competitors but also your own product. Clear insights are gained in order to identify a potential competitive edge in the market.
Observing users 'doing' can bring huge insights, like customer behaviours during store visits, shadowing members of staff working or home visits to follow a specific task. As humans, we often say we do one thing when in fact we do another, so gaining the context of use is important.
Understanding the user is vital. This can be achieved through qualitative and quantitative data processing, screening and interviewing users, stakeholders and key members.
The display and organisation of information can make or break a user's experience - especially when it comes to complex interfaces. If they cannot navigate smoothly and effortlessly then you will soon lose them. It is important through processes, like card sorting that we are able to build navigation and site maps that are intuative to the user.
A vital step in discovering where the true problem may lie and where to concentrate efforts. Affinity mapping, in particular, is a great tool for achieving this.
Experience Maps, User Journeys, Personas, Problem Statements and Scenarios help capture the emotion of the user. Knowing not only what problem we are trying to solve but WHY. It also helps teams and the wider organisation to focus and connect emotionally with your target users.
Drawing ideas out of teams using a number of techniques. From stakeholders to business analysts, anyone can create ideas in fun and relaxing yet productive design sessions.
Sketching, user flows and wireframes help turn that idea into reality. A key phase of any project and one of the most creative.
The quicker we can put a tangible product in a user's hands the better. Paper and lo-fi prototypes can help validate a concept quickly. Time can then be spent on the finer details and the polished UI hi-fi finish.
Developing mood boards, style guides, brand personality, iconography and design systems from scratch, or working within existing visual design guidelines. The key is adapting to your requirements.
<strong>Speak the language</strong>
Coding knowledge plus communication with developers enable considered designs and an ideal smooth handover.