This article is translated from blog Usability Counts, translator @c7210. The original author, Patrick Neeman, is a user experience designer who works for the social recruitment company Jobvite as user experience Director.
In the text, the author puts forward that "real user experience designers know how to continuously improve the" people "," business "," technology "three factors, through the full understanding of these three, make it in the" product "organic combination to make the product gradually become better.
Anyone can draw a wireframe. When my friends talk about their product idea, I encourage them to pick up paper and pens and exchange ideas through sketches. They think this is a great way to help them put their minds into practice.
Real user experience designers are not created by the ability to draw wireframes, but more importantly, they know how to handle feedback, how to validate ideas, and they know how to do research and iterations. They know that sketches and wireframe prototypes are only a small part of the overall design process, they are the conclusions of the research work output, is used to communicate the information carrier; they are likely to be put into the demo document for the product, design, technology development and other related people to communicate, It is also possible to be used as a usability test in the form of high-fidelity or paper prototypes.
The real user Experience designer understands that the product is getting better through a continuous process of improvement. This process, or the framework of the method is interwoven with the "people", "business", "technology" of the three factors, and our job is to fully understand these factors, so that they in the "product" of the integration of the organic combination.
Master more direct and efficient communication methods
I've seen a lot of interaction designers go straight to wireframe prototypes at the beginning of the project, then save them as pictures or PDFs and send them to the demand side, and then start complaining: "Why can't they read?"
Wireframe prototypes are just one of the tools that designers use to communicate, and it is more important to describe the solution and the relevant communication skills to each other in the actual communication with the demand side or developer.
Paper, pens and whiteboards are often more effective tools than wireframe prototypes made from software tools. Especially in the early stage of the product and iterative process, these tools can help us to clear up the idea of the implementation of ideas faster, multisectoral communication and cooperation will become more direct and efficient.
As a designer, we should understand, with the user, product team, technology development and other aspects of the communication and cooperation process is to help us accumulate design practical experience is an important way.
Research and validation
Have you ever visited a customer? Have you organized focus group? Have you ever had a contextual visit (contextual inquiry)? Or are you just designing for yourself?
Many designers, including ourselves, may be doing products that we do not have the opportunity or need to use. I am currently in the process of designing a candidate tracking management system for a number of client companies, something I do not use in real life or work. This means that I have to spend a lot of time communicating with the target users of the product.
If you are not the target user of this product, then as a designer, what reasons do we have behind closed doors?
There is always time to do user research because the work of prototyping is supposed to be a small part of the overall design process. Even if it's just a sketch, it can be done after discussing the actual requirements with a small number of target users; without any visually visible prototypes, it's not a problem, and you can get the information you want by watching the user use the competitor's product.
Only by understanding the user in the real use of scenarios and use cases of the needs of the target, we can start product design work.
Earlier, more display design options
Did you print out the prototypes for each stage and put them on the wall to discuss with everyone? Is there a usability test using a paper prototype or a high-fidelity prototype?
Validating your assumptions, this is a very important job. "I think" is the most dangerous two words in the world, people pay us not want us to do design for ourselves.
Usability testing is not a sophisticated rocket science, and even under the toughest conditions, you can show your colleagues or family friends the prototype, observe their trial, and record how they feel. Most people like to do such things and they feel that their opinions are taken seriously.
A designer recently told me that the easiest usability test in his project was done in a café. Find a few people, offer one or two donuts, show them prototypes, ask a few questions, and as simple as that, the feedback you get is often more than you expect.
Control the flow.
How did you proceed with the actual design? Is there a clear step and a phased goal? Do you know how to collaborate with the relevant departments in this process? Do you use Project management software such as Basecamp or asana to track work processes?
User experience designers should be aware of the design and development process of the product, and understand how to work with the upstream and downstream departments in each of these phases, including product managers, front and rear developers, and even customer service departments, and what support we can get from them.
Some of the most typical aspects of the product design and development process include: User research, role design, requirement analysis, sketch, prototyping, usability testing, development and on-line. In particular, the last three steps typically need to be repeated during a product iteration.
This process is fully planned and controlled, working closely with the relevant people in every aspect-this should be the custom and instinct of the user experience designer.
Even the best writers don't sit down and start writing. They will first conceive the framework of the story, and it is the same for us.
Do you think the product will be all right once it is released? Is there a desire and opportunity to continuously improve the product?
Once a designer asked me: "When do you think the product is really finished?"
I personally think the answer should be "the product will never really be finished."
The word "Kaizen" in Japanese means "continuous improvement". The improvements described here also include improvements to the iterative process of "constantly improving products" and the related ways and means. This can not only promote the existing products faster and better optimization, but also can make future product design research and development work from the proceeds.
Review the projects you have done and the workflow behind them, and see what is doing well or lacking, and consider what can be improved or validated in the next project. Try something new in every aspect of each iteration cycle, implement and validate it, then review and summarize it, make adjustments in the next cycle, and try again.