As a User experience consultant, I go through several different design phases in order to deliver a solution that meets users’ expectations. So if I can choose to work in certain way, this is what I prefer.

Learn by exploring and asking

What is the business problem we are trying to solve? What is the opportunity we are trying to explore? Where should I look for inspiration?

Understand the competitive and social landscape for the proposed new product

Is the product a revolution or an evolution?

What constraints do we as the project team has, which will affect the nature and amount of work? Developers, designers, Product owners, SMEs, all have valuable ideas and inputs

Important is to think about Function, Form and Emotion. Technology will follow

User Research

Before I start, I need to know who is the user exactly? What are they doing now? What are their needs? What are their wants? Interviewing stakeholders and subject matter experts helps to get insight into end user mindset

User journeys, Statistics, Empathy mapping, Brainstorming sessions, War room conversations, basically any research that gives an insight helps

UX strategy

My main focus is to develop concepts and experience maps that will help the stakeholders achieve business objectives by meeting end user goals.

I highlight UX issues and provide the project team with structured recommendations after analyzing the existing digital product or service. This gives a clear set of action items in a prioritized manner that can be used as a basis for measuring success of the digital product/services

Creating order out of chaos

User research will inform and give many solutions, but does that make sense?

Why becomes very important here

This keeps the design in focus on what is really needed now or we can park it for later.

Diagramming and defining logic, Creating classifications and hierarchies, Editing and streamlining content and workflows helps

Process, Information and Content

Complicated processes need to be diagrammed through process maps, user journeys and task flows

How is the user going to navigate?

I think of content before I design. So even if content doesn’t exist, the high level intent of the content is documented

What, where and how we are going to display the content?

Wireframe, Prototype and Design

Wireframes generate conversation between the team and are good conversation starters

Easy to modify, edit and reiterate

Creating a high fidelity prototype shows how the product is going to work

If it doesn’t feel all right, then it’s back to the drawing board

Directing and finessing interactions and liaising with the Development team early on in the process

Creating visual and functional harmony based on style guide

Test and present

User testing is very important. It helps in identifying showstoppers early on in the process. Rapid prototyping, quick and dirty usability tests, remote usability tests all come in handy during this time.

Testing prototypes with end users and iterating based on what works and what doesn’t

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