Designing Digital Interfaces with More Effective User Experience Processes
When a company decides to create a software based product, generally the intent is to capitalize on a known business opportunity and take it to market quickly so as to maximize profitability. Many times, these companies prioritize assembling software development resources and omit an ever-crucial component to a successful SW product launch, a well-vetted User Experience Design process. As a seasoned UX Designer, I’ve seen this time and time again when the initial software product didn’t achieve its goals. UX is subsequently brought in to affirm investor support to fix the issues. Incorporating UX processes at the beginning saves time and money!
When you’ve thoughtfully assessed and balanced business with user needs, a company can develop a product or service that provides a winning solution that builds value for all. A comprehensive UX design process with research, experience mapping, design, and user testing can develop a design solution that achieves this goal and allows your company to reap the benefit.
Understanding business objectives and user needs
Seeking to understand the who, what, and why behind a product is always the best place to start. Companies generally present us with product requirements, marketing intelligence, technology constraints, and a schedule. At MPE (Formerly Mindflow Design) , we propose conducting user research on the various human touchpoints to gain deeper insights to help aid the design of the software solution. We often conduct user research by leading in-person field observations, user interviews, online surveys, and pulling from publicly available research documents. This practice, coupled with a combination of inputs from the domain experts at the company, help us identify and prioritize the right problems to solve.
Identify and prioritize problems to solve
Before diving immediately into designing the software experience, we like to understand the entire product story. To effectively do this, we generally like to start with an experience map that describes the end to end user journey. This process allows us to discover potential problems, allows us time to develop solutions that meet the product’s goals, and reduce the need to rewrite software code. This process usually includes incorporating all research input plus a direct collaboration with company stakeholders.
Design, iterate and test to validate design
Now we get to start the fun part, designing the information architecture, user interface layouts, visual and interaction design. At this phase, we often produce deliverables in parallel with software development teams, using Agile software development methods. Using the latest UX design tools such as Adobe XD, Invision, and Sketch we can prototype and test the end-user experience with participants in our usability lab. Our usability lab allows us to observe users interactingwith device prototypes, and to monitor results with video capture technology. We can also share that real-time with distributed teams. This process provides us the ability, as a group, to digest the results, make informed design decisions, and generate quick iterations.
One effective element of our work is our collaborative relationship with our clients. At MPE (Formerly Mindflow Design) we are your extended team and we engage with you utilizing the latest UX tools for collaboration with distributed teams. The design handoff is made seamless using online spec
, and asset delivery systems, such as Zeplin, that make updates easy, painless, and immediate.
Designing new products, solving problems, and creating value is exciting stuff. Developing a sound vision that is vetted by research, and creating designs that are validated by user testing are your best option for creating a successful product that provides long-lasting value to your company and the world at large.