Day 2 : UX Design @ GA

Day 1 we learnt about UX in general, the need for it and how to kick off a UX design. We learnt about various forms of researching. We chose a project and conducted interviews with a varied group of people to explore the topic of choice with no preconceived solutions.

Day 2 was all about what comes after research.

The purpose is to find meaning in the data. This is often a messy process. The why behind a piece of data is more important than the what.

Affinity mapping is one such technique used to find the needle in the haystack.

What is affinity mapping ?

Affinity mapping is about organising a large amount of data into groups based on their natural relationships. It is used to discover embedded patterns. Its mainly used when you have a large amount of qualitative data.

Why use affinity mapping ?

Things to bear in mind with affinity mapping :

  • < 3 data points is weak

  • > 10 data points is weak (as it could be an overarching idea and can be broken down)

  • Any group formed by data from one user is weak

What is the process of affinity mapping ?

The idea is to represent each behaviour collected in research on a sticky note. Sort them by commonalities. Sort them based on why. This is an extrapolation. These are the insights.

Rule 1 : it has to be something you observed, or a quote or a behaviour

Rule 2 : No solutioning allowed. Don't assume what people need before you know the problem they all have.


Persona is a representation of a group of people who are facing a particular problem. When you design for everyone, you design for no one. Hence personas are important.

Why create personas ?

What does a persona include ?

  • A photo. This is mainly for empathy

  • A summary about them

  • Key characteristics

  • Frustrations

  • Needs

  • A day in the life of

Personas may include scenarios. Describe what they do and why they would do it. Make sure you mention a context around it.

You can craft rich scenarios for personas.

The next step is to create a problem statement. This is from the persona's point of view.

One format is : [Persona] needs a way to [user's need] because [insights]

Once we are equiped with a problem statement and personas , we are ready to design a great UX.

What makes a good product experience ?

  • Usefulness

  • Ease of use

  • Delightful to interact with

Designing for usefulness

Successful products solve a problem. Really embrace the users at every journey .

Designing for Ease of use

A usable product is Useful and Intuitive. So Design for intuitiveness.

What is an Intuitive UX ?

It matches the mental model of a human to the conceptual model of the technology.

Mental model is a person's thought process for how something works. These are based on incomplete facts, past experiences and intuitive perceptions. It represents our preconceived notion.

Conceptual model is the actual model that is communicated to the user through the UI of the product. Its how the system actually works.

When a system's conceptual model closely matches the mental model of a user, the system is intuitive.

Designing for Delight

There is a borderline between delight and bribery

Delightful = usable + thoughtful + fun (serotonin release)

To achieve the above goals, it is necessary to understand intrinsic human traits and its implications on design.

Trait : People don't want to work

Implications :

  • Provide default when applicable

  • Show examples instead of instructions

  • Only provide features that people really need. Having more features just clutter up experience

  • Show little bit of info and let them see more if they want to i.e progressive disclosure

Trait : People have limitations

Implications :

  • Can read only so much text before losing interest

  • Make info easy to scan

  • Group and chunk information

  • Multi tasking is a myth

Trait : People make mistakes

Implications :

  • Design to prevent errors from occurring

Trait : Human memory is complicated

Implications :

  • People reconstruct memories. Which means they are always changing. Its better to observe them in action than just take their word for it

  • Memory is fragile, it degrades and is unreliable

  • People can only remember 3-4 things

Trait : People are social

Implications :

  • Social validation

  • Synchronous behaviour

  • Reciprocity

  • Imitation

Trait : Attention

Implications :

  • Attention is the key to designing an engaging UI

  • Different or novelty

  • People are easily distracted

Trait : People crave information


  • System feedback is important

Trait : Visual System

Implications :

  • Cluttered contents are bad for information assimilation

  • Use grouping to help the eye focus and to help guide the visual flow

Food for thought

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