May 15, 2016 · No Comments!

UX capabilities

These are some of the many capabilities I apply throughout the delivery of UX and digital design. Each project has a different set of needs, and not every project needs every skill - but they all come in useful at some point.

Design Strategy Methods

Maps that display all the touchpoints of the consumer with the brand, as well as the key internal processes involved in it. Useful to visualize the path followed by consumers across multiple channels and how we can improve the flow.

Consumer Journey Map
A diagram that explores the multiple (sometimes invisible) steps taken by consumers as they engage with the service. They can be split into Awareness, Acquisition and Retention.

User Stories
A breakdown of each user task that can be accomplished within the product experience. Reminds the team of the motivations that drive the target audience to use each feature, as well as the path that they will take to do so.

Personas, profiles, empathy maps
A snapshot of the target audience that highlights demographics, behaviors, needs and motivations of the typical user profiles.

Ecosystem Map
A visualization of the company’s digital properties, the connections between them, and their purpose in the overall marketing strategy.

Competitive Audit
A comprehensive analysis of competitor products that maps out their existing features in a comparable way.

Value Proposition / USP / ESPs
A reductive process in the early stages of product definition that maps out the key aspects of it: what it is, who it is for and when/where it will be used.

Stakeholders Interviews
Scripts for interviewing key stakeholders in a project, both internal and external, to gather insights about their goals to priotirize features and define KPIs.

Key Performance Indicators
Pre-stabilished criteria to measure progress toward strategic goals or the maitenance of operational goals. KPIs help inform design decisions along the way and measure results of the UX efforts.

Concepting Methods:

The collective process of generating constraint-free ideas that respond to a given creative brief. Allows the team to visualize a broad range of design solutions before deciding which one to stick with.

A collaborative collection of images and references that will eventually evolve into a product’s visual style guide. Allows creatives to show clients and colleagues a proposed look for the product before investing too much time on it.

A comic strip that illustrates the series of actions that consumers need to take while using the product. Translates functionalities into real-life situations, helping designers create empathy with the consumer while having a first look at the product scope.

User Flow
A visual representation of the user’s flow to complete tasks within the product. It’s the user perspective of the site organization, making it easier to identify which steps could be improved or redesigned.

Task Analysis
A breakdown of the required information and actions needed to achieve a task. Helps designers and developers understand the current system and its information flows. Makes it possible to allocate tasks appropriately within the new system.

An exploration around multiple ways to categorize content and data: topics in a news site, product categories in an ecommerce etc. Assists designers in defining the content structure to support the user’s and the organization’s goals.

Product Planning Methods:

Content Audit
The activity of listing all content available on a website. This list will come in handy at various stages of the project: see the big picture, define the content strategy and check the details of each page.

Heuristic Analysis
A thorough analysis of a product that highlights good and bad practices, using known interaction design principles as guidelines. Helps you visualize the current state of the product in terms of usability, efficiency, and effectiveness of the experience.

One of the most iconic IA deliverables, consists of a diagram of the website’s pages organized hierarchically. It makes it easy to visualize the basic structure and navigation of a website.

Features Roadmap
A product’s evolution plan with prioritized features. It could be a spreadsheet, a diagram or even a bunch of sticky notes. Shares the product strategy with the team and the road that needs to be taken to achieve its vision.

Use Cases and Scenarios
A comprehensive list of scenarios that happen when users are interacting with the product: logged in, not logged in, first visit etc. Ensures that all possible actions are thoroughly considered, as well as the system behavior in each scenario.

Metrics Analysis
Numbers provided by an analytics tool or your own database about how the user interacts with your product: clicks, navigation time, search queries etc. Metrics can also “uncover the unexpected”, surfacing behaviors that are not explicit in user tests.

User Research & Validation Methods:

Focus Group
A panel of people discussing a specific topic or question. Teaches about the users’ feelings, opinions and even language. Useful when the target audience is new or unknown for the team.

Quantitative Survey
Questions that provide numbers as result. Quick and unexpensive way of measuring user satisfaction and collecting feedback about the product. It could indicate the need for a deeper qualitative test.

Usability Test
An one-to-one interview research in which the user is asked to perform a series of tasks in a prototype or a product. Validates and collects feedback of flows, design and features.

Card Sorting
A technique that consists in asking users to group content and functionalities into open or closed categories. Gives you input on content hierarchy, organization and flow.

A/B Test
Offering alternative versions of your product to different users and comparing the results to find out which one performs better. Great for optimizing funnels and landing pages.

A technology that analyzes the user’s eye movements across the interface. Provides data about what keeps users interested on the screen and how their reading flow could be optmized by design.

Accessibility Analysis
A study to measure if the website can be used by everyone, including users with special needs. It should follow the W3C guidelines to make sure that all users are satisfied.

UI Design Methods:

A quick way of visualizing a new interface by using paper and pen. Sketches are useful to validate product concepts and design approaches both with team members and users.

A visual guide that represents the page structure, as well as its hierarchy and key elements. Useful to discuss ideas with team members and clients, and to assist the work of designers and developers.

A prototype is a simulation of the website navigation and features, commonly using clickable wireframes or layouts. It’s a quick and dirty way to test and validate a product before fully developing it.

Pattern Library
A hands-on library that provides examples (and code) of interaction design patterns to be used across the website. It not only promotes consistency, but also makes it easier improve elements as needed.