Define a design concept to align interaction patterns, user paths, and interfaces.
At this stage of our design process I use a variety of methodologies to define a concept that will shape the entire design elements: interactions, the relationship between elements, tone of voice and copy, transitions, animations, etc.
Basically, everything that is necessary to align product vision to reality.
Here is how I do it:
- Information Architecture
- User Flow
- Low-fi Wireframes
- Hi-fi Wireframes
- Interactive Prototype
- User Testing Report
- Let's talk!
- Next Stage
I generally present the IA using a mind map that gives a bird’s eye view of the system and shows the relationship between parts, thus helping users navigate complex sets of information.
In my experience, this mind mapping process is particularly effective when performed in collaboration with stakeholders.
User flows are a visualization of the steps a user needs to take in order to complete a specific task.
The aim of user flows is to show the pages, logic, and action necessary to reach the goal. At the same time, it provides developers with a description of all possible user flows, alternate triggers, and errors.
Low fidelity wireframes are the most basic visual representations of the design layout and features of the product.
They are typically static and their role is to map out the skeleton of the interface its screens, user flows, and information architecture.
High fidelity wireframes are much more realistic depictions of the final design than low fidelity wireframes.
They are built in the advanced stages of the UX design process and are usually interactive, mimicking authentic interface interaction.
An interactive prototype is beneficial to the overall design process in a number of ways, as it:
- Brings the design to life.
- Generates feedback from proper context.
- Reduces overall development time.
- Acts as a reference tool for developers.
- Confirms shared vision among users and stakeholders.
- Validates assumptions and tests hypotheses.
User Testing Report
I find it constructive to take a step back from time to time and validate our assumptions and design decisions by conducting a series of user tests using an interactive prototype.
After the usability testing is complete, I develop a user testing report which contains a summary of our findings, as well as suggestions for improving the design. This document provides insight into users’ expectation and is important in evaluating a product’s success.
The user testing report also provides context to the testing, as it outlines testing goals, test setup, and user demographics.