What is the right User Research for you?
As businesses realize the importance to drive a consistent UX strategy, they are looking to go beyond.
Whenever a design team takes up a project, it has to do a lot of planning to conceptualize ideas, break down information, adapt to a new environment and understand the user and business needs. They simply cannot work without a well-defined process. In addition to this, a designer has to find ways to make life easier for the development team. Design is not the only concern here; the product has to be user-friendly, efficient and easy-to-use. UX/UI designers have to constantly interact with the product development team to know where they stand.
It is in this pressure environment that a design process becomes critical to ensure long-term success of the project. Design process involves a step-by-step analysis of a problem, exploration of ideas and techniques, problem-solving skills and reliable evaluations to create a solution that will meet the project objectives. Design process is also a medium where you learn about the strength and weakness of your project, and adapt to it needs.
The fun part about the design process is it is always interactive, and user-friendly. A design process helps us to create a realistic picture of what the users are looking for? What expectations they have from the product? How do they want to interact with the brand and what practical benefits the product has to offer them? Looking at the problem at hand, a designer has to find the best ways to tackle the situation.
1. Analyze, Review & Research : We first need to set the objectives of the project clearly. With discussions with internal stakeholders, you will have a idea about the scope and nature of the project. It is also important to learn what’s going on in the market. There must be many competitors to the product you are designing. You must make an attempt to see how good their design is. You can use this information to give yourself a direction. It is always a good idea to learn from others experiences. The next thing you need to do is to organize a meeting with the users to know more about their mindset, expectations, habits and preferences. Ultimately, you are designing the product for the user, and not for yourself.
Understanding the world of the user and their concerns is an encouraging sign that your design will be able to satisfy their needs. You don’t want to go straight into sharing your thoughts, ideas and action-plan. It is better if you talk about the problem, and take time to ask them about their likes and dislikes. Based on your findings, you can draw a roadmap to explore the problem more and come up with a solution.
2. Apply, Investigate & Design : After going through the research & analysis phase, it’s time now to apply the design into real-life situations. Anything we design, our goals should be to help the user complete the task more efficiently. A well-designed product provides accurate and updated information to the user. Its interface is clean and easy-to-understand that helps the user to navigate through the platform and reach the source of information without any discomfort.
Most of the users look for convenient way to interact with the product. It’s when you add more features, and not define their functions properly, the user is more confused. The design should be able to communicate with the user exactly what you want. Keeping them guessing is a bad idea. Speed matters a lot! Your design should be fast, responsive and adaptable to the needs and requirements of user.
n this process, we apply many ideas and see what fits the best in the situation. With feedback from users and participants, you will find out what solutions are technically feasible before going into the next phase. Diagrams, chats or sketches are some other tools that can be applied to better understand the dynamics of the project or any details about the user flow.
3. Build, Launch and Measure : Once the product is ready to go live, you need to check how it is performing and whether the problem is solved as intended. In the last stages, when the development team is almost through with the product, you need to sit with them to see if all the changes you requested are done. With more sensitive projects, there are more chances of things going wrong. You need to make sure that the design and development team understands each other and build together a standardized process to measure the performance of the product.
For consistency, it is advisable to use web or application analytics and tracking metrics to identify whether it’s producing the desired result. If there is anything you need to redesign, you shouldn’t consider these things as failures. What matters most is you learn to embrace challenges, see what no one has seen and finish the remaining points of the design.
4. Summary : A design process is something that is unique to every designer and depends much on the environment he is working in. But, these are the common rules one should follow to maximize the efficiency of a product. The pressure of budget and timeline are a constant factor to keep the designer busy with his work. The design process allows you to translate big ideas into action. So, do bring you elements of design, discuss them with the stakeholders, take feedback from users, and finalize the best version.