User-Centered Design

Process

 

Research

Alleviating user stress is a primary objective of the UX design process. Personas are helpful because they identify important details about typical users. A defined persona is valuable when evaluating solutions for accessibility and efficiency.  Brand affinity and business requirements evolve while technical details coalesce.

Task flows are the first step in trying to assess human-computer interaction. Patterns emerge as the string of actions are re-ordered and organized to create a holistic path. A complete task diagram can reduce overlooked aspects in the final design. 

Concept

Established task flows are examined for common elements and then optimized for consistency throughout the system. Flow diagrams evolve into minimalist screenshots called wireframes. Wireframes of on-screen UI are useful prototypes for testing and improvement. Screen aspect ratio and resolution effect typography and layout. For example, by creating wireframes at production resolution, it becomes clear where unwanted text collisions or wraps occur. Localization makes this particularly important. Longer worded languages such as German and Swedish may preclude oversized type. Identifying conflicts early in the process enables more thoughtful solutions. The concept phase is the best time to experiment with UI placement

Foundation

 

Interaction patterns emerge as concepts are developed and documented in high fidelity. Key interactions should be designed first with secondary and error scenarios taking cues from those anchor interfaces. Mobile interaction guidelines can be pretty specific as defined by the Apple HIG and Android Material Design standards. Desktop web implementation is dictated by WC3 and CSS compatibility. Leveraging this documentation ensures compliance with expected standards. Users are thankful for UI that they do not have to fight to comprehend. Language refinement is key and should be exposed to test users in context to ensure accessibility. Simple and direct labels and instructions ensure understanding. Details become a recipe for development. 

 

 

Detail

Production of assets and implementation of the style guide requires open communication between teams. There are many different deployment and quality assurance methods. Prototyping and testing are valuable until the last line of code gets written. Even if compromises are needed, it is useful to understand the user expectation before deployment. Effective design is a result of sensitivity to all perceptible aspects of the user's interaction. 

 

 

 


Reciprocating production schedules have patterns and details that evolve over multiple release cycles across platforms with attention to consistency.