Photo credit: Brooke Cagle
Learn about the tools I use.
UX Strategy and Research - The Vision of a Solution
UX Strategy comes up with a game plan for a product. A UX Strategy is closely inline with the business goals of an organization. Strategy spans products, services, platforms and interconnects different networks of users. Good strategy is not one goals but a direction to veer as you are pivoting. Research inspires and directs the strategy.
Start off with a kick-off meeting and brief.
The Goal: To learn how each team member works.
What's their preferred method of communication?
What tasks can each person help with?
Questions to ask at the kick-off meeting.
Purpose + Objective
What is the objective?
Why is it important?
What is the purpose of the project or task?
What business questions are you trying to answer?
Has this been tried before?
Possible obstacles for success? How Might We Questions.
What's our timeline?
How we measure success?
What is the ideal outcome?
What areas or behaviors do we want to impact?
What are we currently measuring?
Who is the customer?
Who are the users/customers? Provisional personas.
What problems are we solving?
Do we focus on new or existing customers?
How do we include sub-cultures of our users?
Design + Accessibility
What tasks are critical to accomplish?
Which devices, versions, and platforms will be supported?
What software will be supported?
What is the technology culture?
What questions need answers?
What types of answers do we expect?
Do we have outlying or extreme questions?
Do we need quantitative or qualitative data?
What research do we need to do for this project?
How do we measure the accuracy of the data?
Work Breakdown Structure
Empathizing with your customers
Value Proposition Canvas
How to visualize, design, and test how you create value.
Starting with your customer profile.
What is your customer trying to achieve?
What type of problems are they solving?
Are they Functional, Social or Emotional?
Highlight their frustrations, risks, pains, or obstacles.
What experience do they want to avoid?
What experience do they want to gain?
How does your user measure success of a product?
This step will allow you to create a provisional persona.
Exploratory Research - Gaining empathy
Gathering context, history, and competitive analysis.
Develop design hypothesis.
This stage gives you an understanding of how this problem is being addressed now. You can gain insights and be inspired to create new strategies.
Researching a problem and how others are solving it, gives you context and empathy about your users.
Ethnographic Field Research, Direct Observation
Field research is conducted in the user’s context at their location.The goal is find out how people do everyday things. By observing people on location, you have a direct understanding of people's needs. This is where you can obtain data for your journey maps, personas, use cases, and user stories. At this stage you can learn cultural context and context of use.
It's at this stage you can refine your requirements, user flows, personas, architecture, and content strategies.
Primary and Secondary Research
Interviews of Stakeholders + Users
What do your users experience?
What could make their lives easier?
Meet users in their environment to learn from them and their context. Ask them to "show you" what their pain points are.
Capture what they say, feel, and experience with notes, recorder, video, and photos. Ask task-focused questions to learn how users perform a task or use a service.
Empathy > Observation > In-depth Conversation > Quick hand-drawn solutions > Ideally speak to an "outlier" or "extreme user" in the group.
Cultural Probe Box
Targets Context and Future Contextual changes.
Anticipate and use known behavior i.e. daily rituals or activities.Goal: Gather data on people's relationship with their possessions. Creates an engaging experience that sparks conversation.
Participants are asked to complete diary in a notebook.
People are given a task to perform and make notes about in a workbook. This engages participants and adds element of fun.
Participants map their own environment with stickers and post-its.
Use a disposable camera to document events related to the topic. Can be combined with the diary or map.
Postcard sent from designer to participants serving as a reminder or adding something thought-provoking.
With observations, field notes, images, maps, and post-its you can categorize the information you've gathered.
Make new connections.
Discover "ah-ha" experiences.
Learn from walking in your users shoes.
This stage is analyzing user data. The more I put assumptions and preconceptions aside, the more I can see new connections and patterns.
Activities, Motivations, Questions, Barriers
Mapping the steps of a user experience and uncover innovation opportunities.
PLAY • BUILD • EXPERIMENT
Teams who test five or more solutions in parallel are 42% more likely to create successful solutions than teams that don’t do rapid prototyping. -IDEO
Physical and digital prototypes are quick, fun, and engage everyone in the act of play.
Prototype > Test > Client Input
UX Activities and Tools
Requirements & Constraints
Talk with Experts
Hunt for Data Sources
Determine UX metrics
Universal Design, iXD Principles Inclusion
Prototype Testing & Feedback
Map Features to Needs
Incorporate Diverse Contexts
Consider Social Implications
Qualitative Usability Testing
User Group Outreach
Social Media Monitoring
Analyze Forum Postings
Personal Data Safety
Track Usability Overtime
Include Diverse Users
Track Usability Bugs
Create Training Info
Usability Bug Review
Listen to User Sentiment
Reduce Need for Training
My passion for UX
User experience research and strategy are fascinating processes. They have unique and parallel methodologies with the creative process. There are many unknowns, iterations, redesigns, reassembling, reorganizing, rethinking, and killing your darlings. All of which have the user at the center.
The more you connect with the user, the more your design solutions reflect what the user needs and thus meet your business goals. Listen and learn. Your users can teach you.
When you focus on a framework of investigations with the user, you are challenged to design in a completely new way than you originally imagined. This is just like the artistic process.
I mentor young artists.
I create clay sculptures and gestural ink drawings.
I transform my garden into a native-plant oasis for butterflies and hummingbirds.
I play beach volleyball and try to learn how to surf.
I cook up interesting dishes from around the world.
I gut-renovate houses with my husband.
I laugh endlessly with my three sisters.
I learn all about Physics and the universe from Dr. Harry.