UX design serves as the customer advocate, coordinating across departments and bridging the all-too-common product/development divide to ensure that the "voice of the consumer" is heard. The concern of the consumer is the driving factor for the work of the UX Designer, thus, it is important that the UX Designer consider the plights of the Consumer in his own Ideation Process.
The UX Designer can employ two distinct methods in using consumer insights for their Ideation sessions, these methods are:
Consumer Insights starts with the consumer, lands on the Designer's table for consideration, and can ultimately reflect in the product once it is validated. Since the product is for the consumers, then it is wise that their insights are the focus the Ideation Process.
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The famous Martial Art Master, Bruce Lee said “I do not fear the man who knows 10000 kicks, but I fear the man who has practiced 1 kick 10000 times.” Repeated practice is what births perfection, you stand a chance of being perfect in a skill you have practiced repeatedly than being perfect in 10 skills you just do randomly.
Designers, developers, educators, and others use the iterative method to continuously improve a design or product. Designers build and test a prototype, then tweak and test the updated prototype, and so on until they find a solution.
In UX design, the main aim of iteration is to get closer to the desired result with each repetition, in essence you proceed toward your desired conclusion each time you iterate or alter the product such that your desired result and the result from your iteration eventually converge, as though it were a discovery.
More so, to hone your skill to perfection, it is better to follow the iteration process, which is based on a continuous cycle of planning, analysis, implementation, testing, and evaluation at its most basic level. In Iteration, your skill development will constantly be refined by trial and error.
You will make mistakes, but with each mistake you discover where you are wrong, repeat the task with a better knowledge and move on to another stage, you repeat the same process of learning from your mistakes, trial and error are to get you to that level where you become a master in that skill you are learning. So, Iterate.
Dr. Arunaagiri Mudaaliar said “Repetition is the mother of mastery; practice makes you perfect”. To become a master at anything, you must have walked through the possible mistakes and know how to avoid them, this is only possible by iteration.
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Carolyn Mitchel, the Sales Director at Style Library Contract opines that every design evokes emotions regardless of its execution. Hence, the need for designers to understand emotions and how to evoke them in designs.
Designs are more of images and styles than they are of words. They are pictorial representations, and these pictorial representations are meant to interpret an idea or a concept, thus, the designer would have to create the design in such a way that users can feel the words the image is trying to pass across, then it can be rightly interpreted, a good feeling gives a good interpretation while a bad feeling gives a bad interpretation.
This implies that a Design can evoke Joy, Sadness, Hope, Despair, Confidence, Guilt, Anticipation, Hopelessness etc. depending. To elicit positive emotions, the designer must pay attention to details and know his target audience. A skull and bone design without the two crosses over it can be interpreted as a motivation for violence when you actually meant to pass a message of shunning violence.
So, the question is, how can you evoke emotions with your Design?
1. Focus on the Brand Identity and Product Benefits: You cannot just come up with a concept top off your head, your concept has to be in line with what the Brand represents and what the Product you are about to design solves. The Brand Identity already has a tone which describes the brand’s ideology and values, while the Product would have benefits for the user, these benefits must be what connects the user’s mind to the problem you are trying to solve, that triangular connection between the Brand Identity, Product Benefits and User needs is what will create the emotional feel in your design.
2. Focus on the Users: It is important you know the target audience for your products before going ahead with your design. Emotions are interpreted in different ways for different persons. You'll need data like age, income level, gender, location, job title, and so on. The more information you have, the better you'll be able to figure out what appeals to this particular group of customers or enterprises. Instead of thinking like your client alone, try to think like a customer of this brand. A client will frequently tell you what they believe their customer believes, or, even worse, should believe. It's your job as a designer to see past any preconceived notions and put yourself in the shoes of the customer.
3. Choose the Right Elements: The proper concept combined with the incorrect design elements will result in confusing signals. Make sure your brand colors, fonts, and even the angle of your lines all contribute to the emotion you are trying to create (the one you’ve concluded on based on number 1 above). Always keep the brand and the audience in mind. For example, Bright colorful colors may appeal to High School Students, while it might give an unserious feel to the aged ones. Design is beyond putting color and styles together. It deals with shaping people’s mindset and ideologies about things.
A design can re-orientate people about an event; thus, it is an art that must be given due diligence when learning. You can learn the details of design at GoCreate USA Product Design Bootcamp, sign up to join our Fall Bootcamp waitlist.
In his article on Empathy and Products., Derek Vinebo said “Empathy is the backbone of every great user experience. To build great products, you must be willing to understand what your users feel about the problems they have.”
There can’t be anything such as a user-centric product if empathy is missing. Empathy is standing in the place of the user and feeling what they feel so you can process the emotion to create a product that meets their demands. When it comes to creating great user experiences, empathy allows us to understand not only our users' anxieties, but also their pain, aspirations, doubts, constraints, and priorities, allowing us to design solutions that not only solve their problem, but also improve their lives by eliminating excess friction.
To rid yourself of assumptions you have made for users and transition to employing empathy to create products that are centered on the user, here are some tips to follow
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Becoming an expert is not sudden, it doesn’t happen by swaying a magic wand, it happens through following well-laid out processes and sticking to them. Since UX Design has a design thinking method to achieving its goal of being user-centric, becoming an expert in it will demand focusing on design thinking and exploring its possibilities to become a better UX Designer.
Let’s see how we can apply the design thinking processes to become a better UX Designer;
2. Define: The observations you have made about how the user feels, helps you define the problem properly. This problem definition can guide your creativity, it is the core reason for your design, once you get the problem definition wrong, you won’t be able to meet the needs of your client.
3. Ideate: With the problem properly defined, there is room for you to get creative with ideas on how to solve the problem. Ideas will be formed on Why is it important to users? As you are getting the ideas, write them down and connect them to the user’s comfort when using the product, this will inform the design pattern to use.
4. Prototype: This is building a product before the original product; this is where you use all the ideas gathered to create a mock-up product. The prototype can be a functional copy of the original product you want to build, using a prototyping tool.
5. Testing: You can test this prototype between selected users without explaining how to use the product to them. Their ease or difficulty in navigating the product will tell you how intelligent the product is to give a good user experience to users.
Being an expert UX Designer starts from being trained and this training is available at the GoCreate USA Bootcamp. Sign up here to join the Fall Bootcamp waitlist.
Ideation requires thinking out of the box, it involves much thinking, and when not properly done, there can be conflicts of thoughts with no defined method on how to separate them.
According to Nielsen Norman Group “Ideation is the process of developing a broad variety of ideas on a specific topic, with no intention to criticize or analyze them.”
Ideation involves both Divergent Thinking and Convergent Thinking, Divergent thinking allows you to come up with a variety of solutions while Convergent thinking entails analysis and allows you to choose the best solutions for solving the problem.
Here are some steps to follow in order to have a successful Ideation Process :
2. The Worst Idea Trick: Coming up with the lowest possible suggestions relieves the pressure of making the right decisions. It is easier to make the right decisions when you’ve explored the wrong decisions you can make, it also gives direction to your thoughts.
3. Narrow down best ideas: Here, you apply the convergent thinking, the goal is to narrow down the ideas generated to the ideas which will eventually form potential solution, each person can explain their ideas in a convincing manner, since design is human-centered, ideas can be chosen based on their technical feasibilities and their user value.
4. Review Assumptions: This is like trouble-shooting through the design, ask questions about all the assumptions you’ve created for the problems and their solutions, this will help in thinking twice about the product and the solution it proffers.
5. Rank the final Ideas: By now, you should have your ideas filtered to few useful ones, you can now rank the ideas you have to have a priority list or order of importance, you can do this by creating a comparison table, based on the expectations of the design.
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Principles make seeming bulky process, simple. They rid you of getting stuck all the time. This is true with the LEAN concept, knowing what to do and when to do it makes the concept simpler. LEAN is founded on the principle of defining value from the customer's perspective and constantly improving the way value is provided by removing any resource use that is inefficient or does not contribute to the value goal.
The LEAN concept has principles that yields better productivity when applied, thus, it is important for every designer to be acquainted with these principles.
1. Value: The value of a product is always determined by the needs of the client. Critical questions must be asked such as Why do you want this Design? Who is your target audience? Who is your competition? Do you have any design specifications? What are the other critical needs or expectations that must be fulfilled? The answers to these questions are what inspires creativity to create a valuable product.
2. Value Stream: After determining the value, the next stage is to map out the "value stream," of all of the activities and procedures involved in designing a product from the ideation to the delivery to the client. Value-stream mapping is an eye-opening exercise that identifies all of the actions that move a product. The idea is to identify every step that does not provide value according to the customer’s needs and then figure out how to get rid of them.
3. Flow: Following the removal of irrelevancies from the value stream, the next step is to ensure that the remaining phases run smoothly with no interruptions, delays, or bottlenecks. According to LEI, "make the value-creating activities happen in a tight sequence so that the product or service flows smoothly toward the client." This may necessitate breaking down the activities involved in the design, with a wide view of making the product relevant for years.
4. Apply the Pull Principle: The Pull Principle is one of the most essential principles in the LEAN Philosophy. The Pull principle is founded on the idea that you should only produce what the client asks for. Consumer demand defines both the type and functionality of products to design, and this process is to precisely meet customer demand.
5. Perfection: This is the most important part of the LEAN principle, while the first to fourth steps are important, this last step put every piece together, it involves doing a thorough check-up, checking the client’s specification with your design and confirming it with the consumer needs.
Design Tech (either UX Design or Product Design) requires skillfulness and creativity, skillfulness can be learnt and this can in turn birth a creative mindset, you can learn these skills, (UX Design, Product Design, Agile Management) at the GoCreate USA Bootcamp, sign up to join our Fall Bootcamp waitlist.
Inspired By Design
Brave Achievers is a non-profit that offers free technical skills training to talented people marginalized by the fund, race, and social status. By targeting this demographic, Brave Achievers is giving them a vital chance at starting a career in tech.
Brave Achievers is led by Pamela Olomola, a seasoned UX professional inspired to transform lives through mindset reskilling Bootcamps (christened GoCreate USA Bootcamp).
The new way to Learn – GoCreate USA
When there are conversations about learning, it is usually a clash between the traditional way of learning which cut across colleges, and/or degree-awarding institutions. And the modern way of learning – skill-focused learning. This form of learning refers to in-demand learning skills and learning sought-after qualities or traits that companies want to find in a prospective employee.
Companies have never been excited about the modern way of learning, but then, the pandemic happened, and remote work became the next big thing for work. Workplace upskilling that was at a 14% increase in 2019 jumped to 38% in 2020. Today, organizations, businesses, are now intentional about skill-focused training.
Sponsors could be key to solving Tech’s diversity gap
The tech industry has had a challenge with diversity and inclusion for a long time now. While some companies have begun making their teams diverse, the progress is extremely slow. According to TechCrunch, only 26% of women – and even fewer Hispanic (2%) and Black American (3%) women – are currently in the tech workforce.
Sponsors could play a role in bridging this gap.