First you learn the instrument, then you learn the music, then you forget all that s**t and just play. — Charlie Parker
Personally, I don’t believe there is one size fit all when it comes to a UX Design. I developed I.D.E.A.S UX Process from my previous practice and project in the past. But I’m not saying it is the best way to do so.
Ideally, I just want to share it as a case study, and hopefully, it may be one of useful to you at somehow. Let’s find out.
The I.D.E.A.S UX Process.
I for Imagination
Imagination is the process to understand other people from their point of view.
I started every UX Design project as a customer, not a designer. I have a question such as “How this product will improve my life? Is there else where I can get the same value from other place or offline?
Furthermore, I also imagine myself as a client how hiring me at a first-place too, what are they looking to get from me as a designer. What my role, what their role and so forth.
D for Design
Quick design is the best way to visualisation imagination. Rather than wait for a perfect design, I invite my client to design with me at the early state. Compare to a pixel perfect, I’ve found that a simple hand sketch can generate more ideas together.
At this point, we need a quantity, rather than the quality. “The design-early-approach” helps the client to fill in their ideas and reframing the problem.
More importantly, design with a client is the best way to make an ongoing relationship with them too.
E for Experimental
We never know if the design is going to work or not even it has been work before. Instead of working on a concept that may go big or goes home—let’s break a whole thing into a small modular design experimental that can easily test with the end-user.
At this phase, I usually prepare a modular UI Pattern to generates rapid prototyping to evaluate and iterate the idea.
The purpose of the experimental is pretty straightforward. We experiment to make sure that the products/services will benefit the customer.
Experimental = Prototyping, Testing, Learning and Repeat.
A for Affordance
If experimental is the dots, affordance will be connecting the dots. Affordance is the connecting between Form (channel to use the design) and Function (Constraints to use the design).
In the UX Design, what the end-user assumes or perceives will occur as a result of their interactions which is based on their predictions.
At this phase, I will be looking for a repeat pattern that performs by the users, so that I can create a design system to support those patterns.
S for Simplicity
Most of my UX Project in the past is more about the elimination of unnecessary design rather than adding new elements into the product.
Which is why documents like a style guide or pattern library will taking place in the product. It simplifies the product by limit its design from unlimited possible.
One useful technique is to try to understand people who are going to use those documents first, then create deliverables around them.