Process

With the goal of reducing the cognitive load for our users, I embrace the following strategies and milestones. Of course, each problem and project varies: sometimes certain strategies aren’t applicable, e.g., we might not have any analytics in the case of a new product. Also, note that the steps in each categorization are not sequential.

Getting Started, or “Lo-Fidelity”

Hypothesize

develop some theories as to how the problem will be solved

Collaborative Brainstorming

meet with teammates to find affinity

Comparative and Competetive analysis

how has our competition tackled this problem? what solutions already exist?

Task Analysis

explore every minutae to complete the task in its current state

Story Board

prototype the problem by giving it a narrative, characters and scenarios

Wireframes

assemble content with a focus on navigation

Research

interview users, stakeholders, developers, and subject matter experts to get feedback on concepts and better understand the business and the users

Proto-Personas

collaboratively create representations of our users based on our teams’ assumptions

Analytics

gather data that reflects the success or failure of current solutions

Information Architecture

review and/or create site maps, to prioritize content and its flow throughout the system

Test Protoypes

invite users to test interactive wireframes, such as those created in Invision

Going Deeper, or “Hi-Fidelity”

Personas

no longer working on assumptions, evolve our proto-personas into representations of our users based on user interviews, quantitative and qualitative research

Scenarios

envisions our personas in task-based situations – do the outcomes match our hypothesis from Getting Started

Heuristics

focus on system messages, error recovery and empty states

User Onboarding

will first-time users benefit from walk-through screens?

Hi-Fi Wireframes

assemble content with a focus on navigation, but increase the detail, e.g. use real or realistic data

Information Architecture Revisited

iterate on site maps, to prioritize content and its flow throughout the system

Test Micro-Interactions

invite users to test micro-interactions, such as those created in Framer.js prototypes

The Hand-Off

Specs

specifications that account for the developer’s mental models

Stakeholder Reviews

envisions our personas in task-based situations – do the outcomes match our hypothesis from Getting Started?

Test Revisions

do stakeholders and users find the evolution of the product to be intuitive?

Launch

Monitor the Results

Are users spending time on certain screens because they love the content, or because they are trying to find the information they are seeking?