Experience design has its roots in data and technology but is inspired by real people: the end users. Research should be conducted holistically so we empathise with users who connect with an organisation's product or service, or employees who fulfil services offered by an organisation.
Each project and desired outcome requires a unique approach. I work collaboratively to define the right process and have experience in running projects or stages of a project. The most common methodologies are design thinking and lean UX in an agile environment.
The diagram below offers a top-level insight to the kind of tasks that typically run at each phase of the process. Each client, audience type, industry, and level of acceptable risk will affect which phases and deliverables have additional emphasis in terms of time and effort.
Prototypes are one of the key artifacts designers make to get user feedback, test an idea, or explore a concept. Sometimes it's best to do conceptual prototypes before wireframes to ensure concept viability and at other times prototypes after wireframes to ensure usability.
Wireframes are the documentation on how an interface should work and respond to a user. They are a useful tool through the process and can take the form of a low-fi priority stack to a complete set of responsive wireframes set inside guidelines and fully annoted.
Validating our concepts with prototypes are a key stage in the design process. Validation research is captured from the design team and stakeholders and informs us if we've chosen the right concept and determines what changes maybe necessary.
Design Thinking is a collaborative and user-centered approach to uncovering new problems, and opportunities in order to innovate or transform an organisation's service or product. It's a hands-on approach involving a non-linear mix of brainstorming, prototyping and testing. I have used this approach effectively for UK Power Networks to uncover issues around powercut experiences and service bookings. For EE I used this approach to imporve self-fulfilled checkout flows and reduce drop-offs.
Lean UX in an agile environment is a popular approach to quickly enter a market in order to test market fit and get real world, holistic feedback from users. Lean UX works best when the value of a product is well defined as it reduces the need for thorough documentation. It's also a good approach if testing in the marketplace is the best way to get data you can use to further define the vision. I have used this approach for several major Jaguar Land Rover projects including onlines vehicle sales and a new media and corporate site.
Excerpts taken from the interview with Chris Nyffeler, Executive Design Director at IDEO. Full post written by Rachel Youngblade can be read here. I can relate to this wholeheartly.
Empathy starts with an awareness of others and an ability to detect their emotions and understand their perspective.
Being able to share your ideas and bring others on board helps designers be strong advocates for their own work.
It's a central step in the design process, but it's also a mindset that should be fundamental to the way an interaction designer thinks.