DESIGNING AN EXPERIENCE PEOPLE REMEMBER

What do you remember from your childhood? Do you remember your first ice cream? Do you remember your first trip to a theme park or your first day of school? What exactly do you remember about those memories?

The above memories are all made up of various attributes and elements, be it smell, touch, taste, sound, visual, emotions etc. As humans, we are emotional beings, relying on relationships with each other and in today’s world, with technology also. We tend to share experiences with others regardless if they are positive or negative because we feel it necessary to tell others about WHY that particular experience was good or not so good.

User Experience (UX) Design and UX Thinking for that matter, consists of a number of components, which aim to solve a problem for the end user and in turn, deliver a memorable experience. We aim to design a product, which is usable and accessible, factoring in the end user’s needs in the hope that with the approach, that product will have a positive impact on the user’s life.

For people using a mobile device, that experience may change and may need to be more efficient and task focussed, emphasising on speed over glamour.

UX aims to simplify a particular process or journey, making it more worthwhile for the end user, and from a business perspective, encouraging the user to return. An enhanced or improved experience will be greatly appreciated by those using it.

Our Approach to UX

OUR APPROACH TO UX

Considering that no project is the same and not every person is the same, we approach each project differently. We plan based on the project objectives and the audience we are targeting. We also like to keep things lean, meaning we can focus on delivering the key features to market as quickly as possible in order to learn, measure and iterate. By gaining valuable data as early as possible, we are then able to refine the product based on user feedback.

Here is how it generally works:

Research

We begin by understanding more about what you do since you understand your industry better than us. We need, to be honest about that. We aim to ask all stakeholders the right questions to be able to extract useful data. We may do this in a casual setting or arrange a stakeholder workshop.

Research Office Post-it Notes
Part of our user research for a project in our office.

 

The UX research process includes a number of components, not limited to:

•   Affinity Diagramming
•   Heuristic Evaluation
•   Interviews and/or surveys
•   Customer/User Journey mapping
•   Storyboarding
•   Usability testing
•   Focus groups
•   Persona development

We then attempt to analyse and sort through the data we’ve obtained, aiming to categorise or group certain issues and features. Only then does the customer’s journey become clearer.

Design

Our team then gets together to brainstorm and sketch out some ideas on paper. By using collaborative exercises consisting of designers and developers, we’re able to discuss potential solutions and their limitations. We often invite our strategists and even the client themselves to participate in a design studio exercise, in a bid to allow all stakeholders, especially the client, to share their ideas and vision on paper.

Our goal is to obtain feedback as quickly as possible. We will translate our ideas and sketches into wireframes or interactive prototypes to gain insight of the direction and interactions.

We leave the UI (or the visuals) until last. We focus most of our time on the experience and journey. We know from experience that some of the most beautiful looking digital products are just that, good to look at, yet serve no real purpose or benefit at all. Therefore our UI, colour palette and content, serves one main purpose; to compliment the experience, not impacting the journey or distracting the user.

Measure and Learn

We don’t live in an ideal world. If we did, we would launch a product, which everyone would fall in love with immediately, and everyone’s experience would be memorable and positive.

When a product is unleashed to the world, it needs to be observed and reviewed. Various data sources (as well as client feedback) can tell us a story about how people are reacting to the product. We then refine where necessary and repeat.

How we applied it:

QBD The Bookshop

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