And It’s never a linear process.
Here are some tips for using each technique from the design process I use daily to improve your product.
01. Listen with Empathy
One of the most important lessons that I learned was “Let the Client do the Speaking”. When you are first collecting requirements for a project, let them speak and then ask questions. So you listen, you got all the requirements, suggestions, target user groups pretty much everything!
But when you present the design (which you came up according to their requirements), Their expectations are totally different from what they explained in the first place. I started my career as a Business Analyst and I have more experience on requirement phase. This has happened to me, may be familiar to you too. I was wondering what did I miss —I was listening, I took notes, went through them several times but ended up designing the wrong product/ solving the wrong problem.
Then I learned it’s not “Clients don’t know what they want, Its Clients don’t know how to tell us what they want!” It’s our call to make sure they tell us exactly what they want in a way we understand.
Prepare yourself and get them talking!
Prepare your self before the interview, Do some background study on the Client and his business, learn about the person and his interests if possible. That’ll help you a lot in convincing the client because now you know what to talk to him and give related examples in his comfort zones.
techniques to get the requirement,
- Conducting Interviews
- Requirement Workshops
- Brainstorming Sessions
There can be more, but we need to choose suitable and feasible methods according to a project.
Empathy is the key to understand your client in order to solve a problem. So when you are conducting an interview let your client talk more and then ask questions to understand the people as well.
The more you understand your client, the more you understand their expectations.
02. Research and Analyze
It’s Important to know the grounds you are playing.
So you need to research on the project, domain ,and your clients as well. Get to the requirements you gathered from the first phase.
Identify the problem.
First, we need to identify the problem in a higher level. A flow diagram, use case diagram will help in the process to identify the problem, how the process works right now, and values in the current process.
Know your audience.
Get to know your target users by creating user personas which represent different kinds of users of the product. You can select personas from different Age Groups, Interests, Ethnic Groups, Geo-Locations etc. It’ll help you to design with empathy and to the users.
Know the competitors.
We do competitor analysis in order to know what’s in the market already, what values we can bring better than them and know how users interact with them already.
Techniques to Analyze ( Use Sticky Notes and more Stationary 😀 )
Create User Personas to understand the users. Write user stories to understand the problem/ user requirements. Draw a mind map to understand how each requirement, function, and problems connect each other. And draw User journey maps so you can walk through a users path! Identify a happy path as well as the mistakes a user can make. By designing good user experience we are trying to minimize the possibility of making mistakes.
The job of a UX designer has not finished after you design and handover the designs. Even after the product is up and running you can improve the experience with clear facts and quantitative data.
Using analytics tool like Google Analytics you can understand the user behavior through the funnel. Pages where most of users are dropping out and there can be a problem of understanding the message, interaction or what to do next or a technical problem. Getting a Heat-map from a tool can say where most users clicked and can understand the focus. If the product is collecting personal data we can validate our personas and know the user groups as well. According to these data, we can continuously improve the User Experience.
03. Sketch | Design | Prototype
My favorite tool to sketch wireframes is pencil and paper. I always start a design with them. I find it fun and limitless. But if you are more comfortable with a digital product you can use Balsamiq, UX Pin etc.
Get the feedback earliest.
After you sketch the wire-frames you can show it to your client and discuss, this will help you to get more understanding about the client’s expectations and what’s missing.
Go with Crazy Eight.
Whenever you have to be creative to come up with a solution do Crazy Eight. It won’t let you to stuck in the same design but let you think in different angles.
I love using Sketch app to do UI designs. It made the process fun and easy as well as saving a lot of time. Adobe Xd, Figma, Invision App can be used as alternatives but I don’t compare with Sketch. If you are a professional UX Designer I recommend Sketch for productive and quality results. In case if I couldn’t manage some image/ vector editing I use Photoshop and Illustrator.
for Prototyping Sketch+Invision is a great combination since you can directly prototype on Invision. If you are working on Figma It supports prototyping itself. You can use Marvel app it’s really easy to share prototypes and get feedback.
04. Validate with lots and lots of Tests
Early feedback is always helpful when designing for users. Feedback from the engineering team is highly important as well as user feedback. It can reduce lot’s of rework and complications when they know the flow and user journey early.
You can be creative with the way you use the user tests. It depends on who are your target groups. always real user feedback teaches us many things how a user sees your product.
Be open to any feedback.
When you are getting feedback from non-designers, developers, users they will tell you they don’t like that color, font etc. I call it “What do you know?” moment. Only you know how much you analyzed and picked that color to align with many things. But keep calm! It’s their feedback. Think again how much impact that comment can cause, and check if others also agree on those comments. Even you think of giving the best for users, you should consider how they feel as well. It’s nothing wrong about your designs. It’s about making the product more user-friendly.
How to defend your designs.
There will be many questions from your client. you should always have a good reason for all your decisions. I know it’s little annoying to answer these questions but get used to questioning yourself when you are adding any component to your design. Use quantitative and qualitative facts and figures to make decisions. Read books and blogs to improve your knowledge and thinking on UX.
Design with Love!