Picking the right tool for a specific job
I use a wide set of methods and tools to help a project fulfil its goals, but this is always approached using a clear Human Centred Design process.
Outputs for each project vary. It’s whatever it takes to learn insights or communicate ideas, without getting bogged down with documentation.
Below are some of the techniques I’ve used along with the work I’ve created.
Process adapted from a diagram by Stuart Davis
To create a set of personas for NBC, we conducted user interviews, analysed customer data and ran a workshop to gather business insights.
Bringing yourself closer to the needs and problems of a user, an Empathy map is a simple method that focuses what we already know and builds a picture of their lives.
We begin to understand the influences around them, environmentally, situationally and surface their motivations. This leads to seeing their problems, juxtaposed against what they might gain or hope for. With the exercise being performed in around an hour, teams can quickly align around the user.
Detailing multiple phases and touchpoints, CX journeys help reveal emotions, whether positive or negative and can identify critical moments.
A journey should always feel effortless and natural with a user always feeling in control of their actions. My flows visualise that journey, the interactions and the content within each step.
To help develop relationships between content and journeys, I use high level content flows to ensure user goals are always met, driven by content that supports the experience.
Good sitemaps visualise an applications scale, complexity and relationships
Useful as a starting point for quick ideation. I encourage paper sketching, then whiteboard sketching as a quick and effective way to work collaboratively.
Creating wireframes with a flow in mind, enables the user to effectively perform individual actions within a page or as part of a whole journey. By applying a flow to layout principles, legibility and behavioural understanding I craft simple and effective experiences.
When a product needs to be brought to life, prototypes help me understand and refine the complexity of a page or interaction, through either my own use or by observing others.
These help us understand where a customer is in a purchase journey and what they are doing, so we can communicate with the right tools and message for that specific moment.
Customer Experience Audit
As deep dive research, this gives a full rounded view of a customers’ use of an application to provide real world qualitative insights.
By comparing and noting down features seen in competitors or comparator products or services, we can identify pieces that may be missing from our own. This is enables us to identify opportunities or understand what expectations users may have of a service.
A review using set criteria anaylsis and gut feeling can be performed rapidly and gives a great overview of how well a product is performing.
Benchmarking against competitors can spot issues or areas where an application is missing opportunities. It’s also good to identify and replicate existing patterns and behaviours for easy recognition and adoption.
By representing the natural thought process of a user, we can identify preconceived models of behaviour. These insights can be used to add features to actions and needs, as well as matching flows and structures to perceived systems.