With the goal of reducing the cognitive load, I take the following steps when completing a UX project …

Getting Started

  • ruminate, consider, imagine
  • speak it aloud, use a colleague or stakeholder as a sounding board
  • Google for comparative analysis: let’s see how others have tackled this challenge
  • task analysis: walk it forward, walk it backward – to get from A-Z
  • sketch pad, white board, back-of-a-napkin
  • early wires: convert the analog sketches to digital
  • Research: interview users, stakeholders, experts
  • create personas
  • iterate on the wires, with a focus on navigation
  • test with users using lo-fidelity wires, maybe a prototype

Going Deeper

  • Information Architecture: by increasing the fidelity of the prototype, I find shifts in the content prioritization
  • Persona based tasks: what are their needs and how will we get them from A-Z
  • Scenarios: let’s put our personas in certain task-based situations and predict how our product will support those needs in that context
  • Wireframe: to build the idea, to assemble the various parts (Balsamiq, Sketch, Axure)
  • Prototype with Increased Fidelity: focus on system messages, error recovery and empty states
  • test with users, perhaps with a card sort
  • present to stakeholders

The Hand-off

  • create specs that are infused with empathy for the developers
  • discuss the specs and answer questions with the devs
  • review the development and collaborate on revisions
  • test with users
  • launch
  • review analytics and/or app store reviews
  • check-in with users, hopefully collect user diaries, perhaps simply a survey