ver3.2 : jun29th|2019|1341HRS While many UX & UI practitioners implement well known procedures, your environment may have variables that may not allow for the thorough design process outlined here. Examples of variables include unusual deadlines, lack of resources, premature corporate strategy, missing talent, confidential data handling, poor organizational psychology, inadequate empathy for the end user, internal politics or similar. In these scenarios, a thorough process may not be possible and only the most relevant steps need to be identified and be applied. This pre-examination of existing capability may take a few weeks to months to perform. Jumping straight into any design process is ill advised without this pre-examination. If you are a private contractor, decline the project if too many variables will affect the quality of your outcome.
This manual for human centered design (HCD) was developed by me over several years of practice and study of art direction, UI design, print design, cognitive psychology and management theory. It uses references to best practice policies by industry specialists (IDEO) as well as standardization organization guidelines (ISO and NNg). The following sections will outline key procedures in HCD for UI design along with template documentation and external reading material to help elaborate on specific techniques. Please refer to disclaimer above before implementing any of the below mentioned into your design procedures.
clause 2a If your products are designed using a human centered procedure, they will increase operational innovation. It will enhance project management quality and overall portfolio logic to meet your long term strategic goals.
clause 2b Significant cost savings can be found in human centric products which are easier to understand and use which will have an impact on your liquidity and long term bottom line. Leaders must focus on long term customer needs versus shareholder returns. Spin around cash flow and liquidity issues into addressing market needs through HCD research.
clause 2c Human centric solutions improve organizational psychology by enabling access to people with disabilities or diverse backgrounds and promotes psychological well being by reducing stress and frustration.
clause 2d This design approach increases return on investment, provides competitive advantages, for example, by improving brand image. It also contributes to long term corporate sustainability initiatives.
clause 2e Ensuring enterprise focus on human-centered quality is the responsibility of executive management to advocate for human centric vision and policies across the enterprise. They must delegate middle management to institutionalize HCD culture and develop the correct business process management (BPM) for doing so.
clause 2f To increase brand awareness and bottom line, HCD helps develop new products that simplify existing complex processes, duplicate another competitors product in a differentiated way or digitalize mundane humane processes. The mindset employed is to live in the future and build what is missing.
clause 2g As a general checklist, ensure executive management assesses the productivity of new product designs, that they uncover reasons for product failure, that they delegate people to perform concept generation, prioritize design problem solving, there are no hidden agendas or 'ghost projects' and that they understand the management science of projectization.
clause 2h They must be empathetic to the values of design and manage the development of a value chain around the product by building upstream and downstream coupling of stakeholders in the value chain. Corporate must be aware of issues surrounding ethics and build a marketing strategy around the accomplishments of awareness, trial, availability and repeat use. Furthermore, UX research and evaluation can help predict market outcomes before product release and distribution.
clause 2i HCD is not a new concept in the public sector, the government has its policy agendas for its citizens and HCD can deliver better value for citizens whether its service or UX & UI design. Countries assigned by the OECD that rank highly in innovation rapidly develop HCD capabilities through population psychology or socioeconomic research using UX research principles in their government initiatives. I personally helped architect a global innovation platform at the UN level to facilitate innovation ecosystem analysis.
clause 3a Human Centered Design is a philosophy of creating products/ services, solutions or processes. This guide is limited to HCD applied to digital product design comprising of UX research and interface design which is a subset of HCD philosophy. It is a different frame of thinking/ angle of approach or a different perspective lens.
clause 3b Designers will typically simplify the entire (UX& UI) process into loop cycles such as the build, measure and learn loop. The first loop is discovering/ learning and researching a problem. Second is exploring/ designing iterative design solutions. Third is to test/ measure the efficacy of your solution. Lastly to listen to the evaluation and re-cycle around back to exploring to testing and evaluating. It is also possible on some projects to 'dive straight in' and produce design iterations without extensive user research. My approach borrows a few extra steps from management theory, art direction and neuroeconomics to help create better products
clause 3c Intangible service designs are often more abstract in nature and the outcomes are not immediately clear without research. Service design involves more business process architecture, modeling and management. It is distinct from digital UX & UI design. Many projects can be seen to combine both to create a holistic customer experience (CX).
clause 3d Traditional products, specially tangible ones used to be designed from a top down approach, pushing product designs onto users without regard to delivering a solution which is user friendly, accessible or even delights. These products were designed without empathy for the end users' pains, wants and goals. Don't start with the problem or market opportunity, start with the people and their needs.
clause 3e HCD is based on the understanding that the end user and their tasks and environments are understood thoroughly. They are continuously involved throughout the design process to evaluate the designs, playing an active role. This constant feedback and iteration makes it 'human centered design'. This type of product design is more useful, memorable, usable and desirable by the user.
clause 3f HCD based UX design includes all the user's emotions, beliefs, preferences, perceptions, physical and psychological responses, behaviors and accomplishments that occur before, during and after use. ISO also states that 'UX is a consequence of brand image, presentation, functionality, system performance, interactive behavior, assistive capabilities of the interactive; the user's internal and physical state resulting from prior experiences, attitudes, skills, personality and context of use. Furthermore, usability from the perspective of the user's personal goals can include the perceptual and emotional aspects associated with the experience.
clause 3g HCD teams must always involve the collaboration of multidisciplinary skilled members across strategic management, art and science.
clause 3.1a User eXperience design covers a broad array of core disciplines. In terms of corporate strategy it is a modern discipline which has created a new line of coordination between engineering, business strategy, marketing and sales. UX or rather CX covers the entire service experience of the business and is inclusive yet distinct from UI design.
clause 3.1b Note that the ISO9241-210:2019 defines UX as 'A person's perceptions and responses that result from the use or anticipated use of a product, system or service. The Nielsen Norman Group adds that the entire company is also UX and states that 'UX encompasses all aspects of the end-user's interaction with the company, its services and its products'
clause 3.1c Therefore, it should be clarified here that people mistake UX as the UI or interactive digital design when really UX is a data analytics/ research & business modeling role. UX design stemmed from the cognitive sciences multidisciplinary field of ergonomics. Ergonomics or 'Human Factors' managers are of critical importance in industries such as space travel, pilot training or complex mission critical systems where the end user must not make mistakes or push the wrong button by accident. They must optimize the 'user eXperience' so that it provides the most accurate interface between human cognition and machine. Traditional ergonomics or UX has its roots in the cockpit planes of World War II, the first Apple Mac OS and Fords car factory.
clause 3.1d Product designers must clearly distinguish the difference between user eXperience(UX) and user interface design (UI). Unfortunately, job descriptions can vary widely and UX designers may be expected to perform some degree of visual designing depending on the company. Failing to see this separation can lead to disastrous consequences or product management incompetence.
clause 3.1e UI design involves the creation of visual artifacts and then to engineer these interactive interfaces. This sub-area can involve things like programming, motion animation, visual design and thus is a technical discipline. UI design can be performed without art direction & research but is unlikely to produce products that create a memorable and differentiated brand experience.
clause 3.1f HCD based UX &UI should not be led by engineers or by businessmen, be weary of such job descriptions with this type of line of command. UX advocates for the end-user and no one else. The UX researcher & product manager are the authority of product design.
clause 3.1g Next is the issue of customer experience(CX) versus user experience(UX). Simply put, CX is a temporal dimension. Yes you can use them interchangeably but UX is a smaller bubble inside the CX and UI is an even smaller bubble inside the UX. The most efficient way to illustrate the concept is to imagine the entire experience of getting a loan from your bank in 2017. Now in 2019 that entire business work-flow may have changed and you may not like this new customer experience anymore. The UX and the UI components of the whole CX journey in 2019 may not have been improved and thus the overall business CX is deteriorated.
clause 3.2a The benchmark for the best product designs are those that involve the users right from the beginning. Tightly wound collaboration will produce the best results. Failing early is a good thing and uncovers poor concepts early in the design process.
clause 3.2b Its very possible that access to users won't always be possible and you will have to try to get into the shoes of the user through secondary research and then perform user testing and evaluation at a later stage. You will have to use more imagination and empathy of the your user's lives to do this.
clause 3.2c Faking the concept- act like you have no understanding of what your user or stakeholder wants and make some incorrect diagrams and look confused. This will push them to become frustrated and draw rough wire-frames of the product themselves. This can increase the chances of nailing the right product concept from the beginning.
clause 3.2d If you are able to access users on a regular basis, co-design the product with them, iterate with them and create your product with them like a close partnership to drive end user satisfaction and boost product design efficiency. Instantaneous feedback and quick reiteration from this method make this a secret trick to excellent product design, unfortunately this level of access may often be difficult to obtain.
clause 3.3a Evaluate wire-frames, mock-ups and prototypes right from the beginning before sending to the engineering team. A UX & UI designer should take all initiative to minimize the amount of code an engineer needs to delete from his work. In fact, ensure you send a well evaluated mock-up prototype to the engineering instead of getting them to code a prototype.
clause 3.3b Constant feedback and progressive improvements minimizes the risk of a system not meeting organizational and business context needs. This kind of evaluation helps ensure final acceptance of the product in that all user needs have been met and also uncovers predictive issues that may arise in the future.
clause 3.4a Design is never done and a product design is on an infinite path to constant updating and improvement. It is also very likely that not all user needs have been uncovered in the early stages of design and it will need to be iterated as many times as needed to build the final product.
clause 3.4b Limited number of iterations may result in the rejection of meeting user requirements or a product that is of inferior quality. The business case and context document should be regularly updated to account for new requirements and new unknown unknowns.
clause 3.4c Create insight reports to clarify what you have identified, explore your hunches and imagine 'how might we' do things. Then employ users or subject matter experts to evaluate your hunches.
clause 3.4d Non-designers may not be aware of the core concept of iteration and nor have the patience for this concept. Many product design iterations can go from tens to hundreds or thousands, a norm in the designers. Make your stakeholders aware that what they consider painful iteration is actually a norm. The design process is cyclical not linear.
4.1 The average design procedure conceptually follows the fundamentals decision theory of economics. It is not some special process invented by designers at fancy design companies or in academia. This guide is intended for practical use and therefore avoids exploring this realm, you can learn the conceptual economics behind it above instead.
4.2 Get the Right Team Together
4.3 Investigating the Context of Use
4.4 Conducting User Research
4.5 Specifying the User Requirements
4.6 Art Direction & Branding
4.7 Communicating the Art Part of UX
4.8 Produce Design Solutions
4.9 Iterating Design Solutions
4.10 Evaluation Strategy
4.11 Evaluation Tools
clause 4.1a UX & UI initiatives involve a multidisciplinary team to collaborate and contribute diverse viewpoints. Team stakeholders can be internal or external. Silos are toxic, predict and prevent the development of team silos.
clause 4.1b Human Factors engineers, ergonomics engineers, psychologists and UX researchers are solely focused on research and gathering user insight. Often data scientists are used in understanding UX research performed on large user groups.
clause 4.1c End users and stakeholder groups for whom we are designing for and will be using the final product must be identified using analytical frameworks.
clause 4.1d The Product Manager must be a master of gathering constraints, understanding the context and plays a key role in gluing the design and engineering teams. This person must figure out what to include in the product road-map. They also work with project managers to ensure on time delivery and is skilled in identifying and prioritizing what problems to solve, which to leave out (also known as Kano Modeling) and cherry picking opportunities in the market place align with the company mission. They are also involved in vivid storytelling the needs and pains of potential users of the product to the team.
clause 4.1e In specialized industries, experts such as neuroscientists, financial engineers, government policy officers, aviation engineers and similar domain matter experts will provide high level advisory, guidance and consultancy to ensure the proper gathering of the correct user requirements. They will help align the design project to meet industry requirements. Subject matter experts can help with technological monitoring and cross-impact analysis.
clause 4.1f Marketing, branding, CSR, creative directors and sales teams are critical to helping gather user feedback, insights into the dynamics of the user market and how to design contemporary, memorable, differentiated and competitive designs that drive brand credibility. In the long term, brand equity occupies one of the most important lines on a corporate balance sheet under intangible assets.
clause 4.1g User interface designers, illustrators, visual designers, product designers are responsible for digesting the business case, to imagine and envision a picture of what to design through mock-ups, prototypes and visual designs. The product designer needs to be able to ensure that the product addresses user needs and will help scope out the right features with the product manager. Product designers typically do not take on the role to discover problem areas, jobs to be done, marketing segmentation or business contexts but often contribute.
clause 4.1h Business analysts provide valuable input into the business requirements, market research, concept evaluation and have a strong understanding of the business goals at a strategic level. They can help contribute to developing better information architecture to design projects and guidance on long term strategy.
clause 4.1i Engineering can consist of front and back end developers and infrastructure architects. They will turn the designs into code working closely with other team members and critically evaluate feasibility and technical constraints. It is important to involve them early to uncover issues of technical capability and scalability especially if designers propose novel interaction designs. Note that the HCD UX process shares many similarities with the software development life cycle (SDLC).
clause 4.2a Investigating the context of use requires gaining a thorough understanding of the purpose of the project, the objectives of the enterprise, who are the users and their goals, stakeholders and the environment surrounding the business problem. Frame your design challenge by clarifying what problem are you trying to solve by absorbing the wider strategic environment. Make sure you evaluate whether the problem they have identified is actually worth solving and clearly define the concept statement.
clause 4.2b Performing these analysis is the key trick in turning UX design into 'strategic' UX design. The strategic planning of HCD involves procuring resources, assigning the right individuals, agreeing on milestones and time scales, and understanding the internal technical environment as well as the physical and social environment.
clause 4.2d A relatively new tool called the business model canvas is something can give you a strategic overview of your enterprise.
clause 4.2e Corporate strategy will help you uncover where the industry is going in order to identify the best context of use for a new project.
clause 4.2f The legendary Peter Drucker analyzed how customer values shift over time and modern approaches to value innovation helps develop modern business projects that pursue both product differentiation and low cost. This will help create powerful value propositions that you can then validate with user research.
clause 4.2g Other techniques include attribute perceptions questionnaires, snake plots of competitors brands and perceptual mapping. Involve marketers, analysts and product managers to develop market positioning statements and perform these research methods.
clause 4.2h The product and project managers will extract the hidden opportunities or gaps in the market and uncover the most optimal context of use to be developed. Clearly detail the context of use as this will provide the fundamental basis for creating user requirements and help to specify them in a way that the design and engineering team can understand.
clause 4.2i Performing these analysis with managers will help uncover the total addressable market which is the entire value of the market and figure out the serviceable market which is the market in which you can realistically compete in. This information is useful in validating and valuing your business problem to be solved.
clause 4.3a Deep understanding of the end user is critical to the HCD process. The traditional forms of user research often yield the best results is by simply having rich conversations with your users. On the other hand, is very possible that you may not have access to direct user contact and you will have to find ways to deliver regardless. You are not the user so detach your predispositions from the problem at hand and show humility: you are trying to hypothesize what the solution may be at this stage. Aim to send multiple people to gather UX research so they can discuss and debate the research after it is done.
clause 4.3b Ethnographic research is useful if the user base is diverse and complex, however very expensive to perform. This requires total immersion into the lives of your users and their communities. Guided tours are often seen in this form of research of the users environment.
clause 4.3c Interviews with users, stakeholders, experts or user groups are common. If access to a pool of users are available then quantitative and qualitative data collection is useful to gather, develop analytical models and extract insights into the behavior of users. Powerful, well thought out questions are the cornerstone of great HCD UX research. Try to get the user to use metaphors, synonyms or other visual artefact's to gain deeper understanding of the customer experience.
clause 4.3d Drawing from techniques used by secret intelligence agencies- aim to extract the mind of the end user using somewhat clandestine ways, don't ask leading questions and shallow yes/ no questions. The best information extraction for UX research is when it is in a casual way without any formal arrangements, if possible break up your investigation into the mind of your users over several days or weeks to absorb and look at the world from inside the shoes of your user. This decontextualizes the research and helps figure out generalized, theoretical issues. Great examples of question strategies include asking for processes- 'so how do you do this task x', asking for detailed explanations, uncovering frustrations, hurdles, their dreams, wish lists and similar behavioral questions.
clause 4.3e Be aware of your personal bias and unconscious biases. You can practice mindfulness techniques to help improve how you make judgments. As per the neuroeconomic drift-diffusion model, neural circuits tend to naturally excite rapidly (initially) during decision making. Slow down, and take your time to process information, the neurons do so as well, helping you make better evaluations of your user research and avoiding bias.
clause 4.3f Anthropological research is useful to uncover insights about the interplay of technology and culture. This method otherwise known as contextual inquiry helps understand your user's behavior in their own context. It is a form of qualitative research. Empathy and emotions can vary widely depending on the cultural context, and an anthropological lens of analysis will enable you to be more sensitive and less ignorant to these. People have diverse personal and cultural ways of dealing with emotions. And you have to empathize with that.
clause 4.3g Empathy mapping is a technique borrowed from marketing research such as uncovering users needs, goals, wants, pain points, what they think feel and do in regard to your product design hypothesis. Empathy mapping is often combined with customer journey mapping to place snapshots of the users perceptions at various stages of the journey surrounding the use of your product. Note that many journey maps are time intensive, meaningless without direct user contact and often impossible to decipher by and outsider. A funnel matrix can be used instead for many projects.
clause 4.3h User personas, also borrowed from marketing research are useful but a controversial topic as it causes excessive generalization of users, particularly for products aimed at diverse mass consumer audiences. User segmentation is commonly employed to understand your users and can be also be done quantitatively. Aim to understand what jobs your users segments are trying to accomplish. Try to uncover trends in your market segments.
clause 4.3i A technique derived from the film industry- story boarding involves imagining and illustrating a comic strip like linear journey of the user using your product, helping empathize with the user and enabling stakeholders to visualize the product better. This helps get into the shoes of the user just like a movie actor, in fact, for many projects, films are often well researched by directors and can provide invaluable insight into relevant end users and their mental constructs by walking a mile in their shoes.
clause 4.3j For some projects you may have the opportunity to create extreme case scenarios such as those with severe neurological disorders and interact with them to create a scenario story to help understand the user better.
clause 4.3k Primary and secondary sources are great at getting passive empathy for the end user but walking a mile in the users shoes through story boarding, scenario story telling enables you to feel the user better and create an active empathy for your user.
clause 4.3l For many projects it is also possible to use on-line forums or app store feedback as a research tool as hidden insights can be found there regarding a business case or product problem that are not available by just interviewing users due to the anonymity on-line forums give users.
clause 4.3m For already deployed projects, existing quantitative analytics can uncover useful problem areas or opportunities. Using web analytics, try to uncover where your people are getting stuck, the most popular parts of your design, how your users find what they are looking for, how your new features are performing, where your audience is from as well as trends and changes in behavior over time. This can also include email surveying, initiating a dialog with the sales and marketing team to gain their customer feedback to understand the mental model of the user. Quantitative research however does not uncover emotional data about the user and their complex cognitive inner perceptions towards your product.
clause 4.4a Identifying the user needs from marketing research, functional requirements and others are a critical activity. In order for it to be HCD, the context of use is taken into account and combined with thorough UX research.
clause 4.4b With the help of product and project managers, create stake holder matrix's to identify stakeholder group needs and risks imposed. Project managers must create the Project Initiation Document (PID) based on the PMBOK and a mandatory Product Innovation Charter (PIC). Include quality policy and quality evaluation planning, for example user satisfaction measurement metrics along with a risk management plan in this document.
clause 4.4c Business analysts and engineers can also help turn the requirements document into a work break down structure and can lubricate the process to developing the information architecture of the actual product design.
clause 4.4d Ergonomics experts can help guide UI knowledge, standards and guidelines, coupled with branding can help create highly usable and memorable user interfaces.
clause 4.4e Be prepared to delete, modify or add new user requirements as they arrive in the future and ready to mitigate trade-offs between stakeholders regarding user specifications.
clause 4.4f This specification plan must allow for user testing, be verified by stakeholders and be internally consistent as well as examined against competitive forces in the external environment. Analyze the competitive environment with tools such as the competitive matrix evaluation.
clause 4.5a ISO 9241-220:2019 defines that 'UX includes all the user's emotions, beliefs, preferences perceptions, physical and psychological responses, behaviors and accomplishments that occur before, during and after use.' It also states that 'UX is a consequence of brand image, presentation, functionality, system performance, interactive behavior, assistive capabilities of the interaction; the user's internal and physical state resulting from prior experiences, attitudes, skills, personality and context of use. Furthermore, usability from the perspective of the user's personal goals can include the perceptual and emotional aspects associated with the experience.
clause 4.5b You can clearly see that multiple multidisciplinary team members such as business analysts, engineers, product managers, designers all contribute to delivering ideas that meet the above statement.
clause 4.5c It is critical to note that unlike engineers and analysts, people from an arts/ anthropology and ethnography background are naturally more predisposed and sensitive to the human element and are therefore more capable of delivering an emotionally resonant product experiences. Their decision to start their educational or professional career in the arts is a red flag indicator of a personality temperament who can be much more intuitive and empathetic to the human element.
clause 4.5d Engineers, unless they have proven experience in the arts often lack the ability to empathize with user goals and create emotionally resonant experiences. Despite, business analysts engineers address aspects of the whole UX, it should be noted however that there are two more aspects that are of importance here, specifically to the UI itself- an understanding of cognitive psychology and the creation of a differentiated product experience through art direction
clause 4.5e Art directors closely monitor trends from art forums such as Behance, Dribble, Muzli, WebDesignerNewsDeviant Art, art galleries, exhibitions and more to ensure product designs are contemporary, innovative, differentiated and contributing to long term brand equity. It is very easy to see many products that were delivered without cognitive psychology and art direction in mind, even basic color theory, designed by engineers: lacking differentiation and quality. They simply don't connect emotionally with the end user and don't trigger memorable cognitive reactions.
clause 4.5f An art director will often work with marketing to set out corporate brand guidelines to address this issue, replicate and extrapolate a consistent, high quality, coherent and cohesive product experience across all platforms. If you have a portfolio of product design projects the art director can work with cognitive psychologists trained in ergonomics to develop strict design guidelines in-line with the branding guidelines.
clause 4.6a Communicate and present to your users what you have done- explain the new features and how it will benefit them and serve their needs, then gage their reactions.
clause 4.6b Marketing and art directors play key roles in creating brand names and also help manage brand equity by strategically planning the 7P's of marketing.
clause 4.6c Many aspects of aesthetics of the design can be communicated to stakeholders and justified however, note that as a side effect of the art in UI design profession many decisions are intuited without clear logical explanations. Stakeholders in sensitive environments such as in the public sector or executives that are not aware of art direction may impose personal artistic judgments outside of their jurisdiction. Compromise, negotiate and remind that aesthetic judgments of the visual design are best left in control of the artist while the entire product team is involved in the design of the UX and customer experience. Design is making something for someone else while art is personal. This paradox must be handled with diplomacy in a professional environment.
clause 4.7a A clear understanding of the context of use, stakeholder matrix and user requirements are utilized to produce design concepts. A combination of skillful imagination will enhance this creative phase of problem solving.
clause 4.7b Brainstorm without judging ideas, encourage wild ideas, build on the ideas of others. The best ideas often come from the quietest people, don't dismiss others ideas (this is a sign of a lack of experience) and use this technique to explore opportunities.
clause 4.7c Producing design solutions involves creating tangible artifacts which elaborate how users will accomplish tasks rather than the aesthetics. Use lateral thinking to challenge the business context and uncover hidden ideas.
clause 4.7d This stage requires identifying tasks, sub tasks, interaction objects, user dialog techniques, sequence and timing of the interactivity and working with engineers and the product manager to crystallize the information architecture of the entire product. These can be compiled into a functional specifications document.
clause 4.7e Note that as stated earlier, aesthetics is not of concern here, scrap paper/ white-board sketches, poorly drawn black and white wire-frames are all that is necessary at this stage. Visual designers and art directors play a listening role here and reserve aesthetics for later. This is termed as Lo-Fi or low fidelity prototyping.
clause 4.7f This stage will help illustrate the conversion of the business context and user requirements to conceptual diagrams and also UX and task flows- how the user navigate through the information architecture and its elements, commonly depicted using flow diagrams.
clause 4.7g Quality Function Deployment a Japanese concept for highly complex product design can help break barriers between the product design team and help deliver customer excellence by understanding your user needs better.
clause 4.7h Card sorting is a technique that can be used to allow users to group all the tasks of your system into groups, helping you develop better information architecture. Brainstorm items on post-it notes and place them into different groups.
clause 4.7i User centered evaluation should take place at this stage too and iteration should be used to progressively eliminate uncertainty and the probability of failure during the engineering of interactive systems.
clause 4.8a Adopt a lean UX design methodology- some organizations may require you to produce pixel perfect designs, however in the age of rapidly changing business requirements, screen ratios and sizes, aim for good-enough UI prototypes and give some freedom to the engineer to decide how best to implement the design across multiple platforms. Lean UX and rapid prototyping over pixel perfect will increase the number of feedback cycles, thus enabling you to satisfy project requirements much more efficiently.
clause 4.8b The goal of these stage is to create explicit working prototypes of the digital product as close as possible to the real thing. Constant feedback, iteration will be needed and expect unexpected new user requirements to slide in, known as scope creep. Collaborate with PMI trained project management professionals who can help you handle these issues.
clause 4.8c This stage of designing interfaces moves into the field of ergonomics and visual design. Ergonomics or 'Human Factors' are critical when designing interfaces for zero-error tolerance contexts such as the HUD displays of fighter jets, space craft, electron microscope user interfaces or your for average airline cockpit.
clause 4.8d Less serious applications will lean more towards the visual design side, utilizing innovative art direction and product differentiation to create memorable experiences. Regardless, interface design style guidelines are implemented, again collating UX research, the business context, user requirements and user expectations of the product
clause 4.8e Higher fidelity (Hi-Fi) are required at this stage to illustrate how the final product will look. Such prototypes used to be done in Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Keynote/ Powerpoint to produce fake interactive prototypes, however are becoming inefficient to the needs of modern prototyping.
clause 4.8f Sketch and Invision/ UXPin are commonly used industry standard software to product these Hi-Fi designs and prototypes. Over the last few years new tools have entered the landscape which address the limitations of existing tools. Figma, for example, allows the entire visual design and prototyping work-flow to be done in one place, accessible from the cloud from any device with live multi-player collaborative designing, prototyping and feedback features. Adobe XD another new entrant offers innovative prototyping for those used to the Adobe ecosystem.
clause 4.8g Microinteractions and detailed animations are another issue the design team has to advocate for, they communicate change, grab attention and emotion, invites discovery and enlivens software. Many projects requirements ignore the importance of this element of product design that the art director and design team has to advocate for.
clause 4.8h Depending on your project, advanced interaction and animation may be required using tools such as Framer and After Effects. The new Invision Studio, available as download software only for Mac also allows for modern interactivity and animation. Proto.io and Axure offer complex key-frame based animation and prototyping with steep learning curves however the industry standard for animation design is still Adobe After Effects. You can see comparisons of different UX software here. Axure is recommended for extremely large scale application prototyping. Many designers are able to directly code interactions and animations, helping save time on engineering procedure.
clause 4.9a Before you dive into a new UX project, try to gage the UX maturity of the organization. Low maturity organizations tend to prefer quantitative and more direct approaches to product testing such as eye tracking or usability testing while high maturity organizations deserve to revisit their user base, their needs and wants better in order to make their products better and serve under served or unknown needs. Help build a repository and involve the business in UX sessions so they can learn what UX is all about.
clause 4.9b Once a prototype is released, you can use more formal evaluation methodologies to evaluate how well you have executed the design to meet user requirements. Constant feedback and evaluation is used to improve and refine the final design. Produce revised prototypes as many times as needed. Define your goals for usability and evaluation metrics such as 'likability', 'originality' or 'value' ahead of time to you can continually measure against these.
clause 4.9c Reveal the weaknesses of your design solution and help uncover new insight into user needs and areas of improvement by using the '3 why method'. Many emotionally unintelligent stakeholders will give impulsive, opinionated feedback without explanation, clarification or critical reflection. Brace yourself and ask why 3 times.
clause 4.9d Many evaluation techniques listed here overlap the techniques found in early stage user research. The only difference now is that you have produced something tangible to present and discuss. Ensure that this time around you evaluate all the touch points and user flow of your product's information architecture.
clause 4.9e If developers have already coded the beta version of the product, they can use bug reports, help desk data, incident analysis, defect reports, performance data, satisfaction surveys and other analytical tools to see if the product is operationally sound. Engineers must see whether the interface meets WCAG guidelines for accessibility by communicating issues early on with the design. Alpha and Beta tests can also uncover key weaknesses in the design.
clause 4.9f Employ tools such as fish-bone diagrams otherwise known as cause and effect diagrams as tools to uncover critical issues. Look out for edge cases.
clause 4.9g A/B testing can help narrow down the most optimal wire-frames. This method can be combined wit a risk/ payoff matrix to discard sub-optimal solutions. Create a strategy for concept screening and elimination with product managers.
clause 4.9h In many situations, users may not be easily accessible, and you can therefore simulate fake tasks that the user may want to perform using the prototype, monitoring and evaluating for errors. This is also known as a cognitive walk-through.
clause 4.9i This stage gives you the opportunity to collect new information about user needs, delve deeper into the weaknesses of your design.
clause 4.9j Many industries have regulatory bodies that can impact what your product design can or can't do such as product liability. Enable dialog with government and legislative bodies to evaluate the likelihood of successful market entry of your product. Be mindful of negligence, product warranty, strict liability and misrepresentation, specially through marketing or neuromarketing.
clause 4.10a UX analysis involves making a lot of hypothesis as to what could be and using evaluation tools, you can test your hypothesis. There is such as a concept as the 'rule of 5' if you can't find a large cohort of users to test, 5 should be enough to test your solution.
clause 4.10b Inspection based evaluation by UX experts can bring their experience and knowledge to assess your prototype against industry best practices, usability heuristics (heuristic evaluation) and can be compared to the Delphi technique found in management theory
clause 4.10c This stage gives you the opportunity to collect new information about user needs, create a list of defects and unexpected design issues and delve deeper into the weaknesses of your design. Moderators can be employed to uncover insight, however be careful not to stress the user being tested as this is not an interview.
clause 4.10d Keep note of overlooked user requirements, differences between expected and actual context of use, incompleteness and misinterpretations of user interface specifications, prioritize and resolve these issues across the team. Get users to perform tasks of your system and evaluate how well they can accomplish these tasks by asking questions.
clause 4.10e Pretend each of your product features has a fake currency attached to it and use this way of thinking to see which issues are best to resolve.
clause 4.10f Common testing methods include qualitative and quantitative surveying, cohort based evaluation and testing your designs to get feedback and insight from a wider pool of users. This can be done behind a single sided mirror rooms so you can analyze the body language of the users.
clause 4.10g For many consumer projects without security concerns you can perform 'hallway testing' by grabbing random people to interact with your prototype and see how they interact with it.
clause 4.10h Eye tracking and heat mapping allows you to get into the mind of the end user and see how they interact with your interface from their point of view. It illustrates where your interface users are paying attention, but more importantly, where they should be. Brain imaging techniques and facial imaging techniques found in neuroeconomics may also be used to uncover the cognitive process your users go through when they interact with your product but require substantial funding to employ. Eye movement has key output to the basal ganglia and can uncover insights into how your user is making decisions.
clause 4.10i There are also newer approaches to design evaluation based on neuroeconomics by studying the nucleus accumbens. Refer to the drift diffusion model for more on this. You can also use simple body language analysis instead of expensive neuroimaging techniques to evaluate the value of your product for the user.
clause 4.10j Stakeholders can be interviewed again using workshops, a diary study can also be performed where users record their daily use of the product, which will help extract richer and deeper personal insights into the customer experience over a period of exposure time with your product.
clause 4.10k Walk focus groups of your users through your solutions to validate your designs and stimulate new ideas through discussion.
clause 4.10l Substantial amounts of data can be gathered from a long running project to give insights into long term performance, and the business context can be re-evaluated to see if the product needs another upgrade. For such projects that have already been running, utilize the ATAR model to quantify the value of your solution and perform sales forecasting. Many service design projects offer this opportunity.
clause 4.10m It is expected that new designs may require some new learning of behalf of the user and thus may require designing on-boarding, and training documentation. A product/ project manager can help with developing an integration or transition strategy of the new digital product.
clause 4.10n Use marketing and sales talent to perform pseudo and controlled sales before going to full sales to evaluate the product better by creating simulated test markets. These can help them gather insight into developing the real product launch management plan.
clause 5a Be weary of project and product managers/ designers who state that the goal of a design project is to 'bring in more cash'. It's a red flag of a small minded manager with stronger interests in 'bringing in more cash'. As stated by Bill Gates himself, the money is just a measurement metric to see how close you are to where you want to get in terms of long term vision.
clause 5b Well done HCD contributes to several of the United Nations Sustainable Development goals. By creating accessible products you are contributing towards Goal 10- Reducing Inequalities by developing interfaces for a wide range of audiences
clause 5c Innovative digital HCD products can help contribute to Goal 11 by creating Sustainable Cities and Communities
clause 5d By designing digital products through HCD you are contributing to Goal 9- Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure by imagining new ways to conduct work making things more efficient, effective and progressive.
clause 5e HCD integrates many aspects of cognitive psychology, neuroeconomics, ergonomics and can create memorable emotional attachments to digital innovations through art. This relates to Goal 3 by contributing to Good Health and Well-Being. Well thought out HCD's for digital interfaces increase engagement, reduce stress and can even delight end users, improving their quality of life.
clause 5f Many digital products can deliver new education and knowledge to users which would otherwise be difficult to access, by using HCD techniques such as anthropology and ethnography your product design can contribute a great deal to Goal 4 of the UN SDG's by disseminating education and new knowledge.
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