Day 3 : UX Design @ GA

Day 2 was all about making sense of data generated by various forms of research, picking problem statement and generating personas to create empathy for the users.

Where to next ?


Ideation is the formation of ideas or concepts. Main purpose is to break out of cognitive bias. So generate lots of them, before you select the ones to focus on.

This is a type of risk reduction, because you are not going with the first idea.

How to choose an idea ?

The decision should be based on a combination of the following : most desired (user), most feasible (technology) and most viable (business)

Ideation belongs to the third diamond in the double diamond process which is all about exploring possibilities.

How do we ideate ?

Sketching is the process of rapidly translating idea into something tangible. Use pen and paper to make ideas more tangible before jumping into heavy duty wireframing.

While sketching, its very useful to add scenarios. These adds context to problem solving. They are also useful to keep usability in mind.

What does a good scenario look like ?

Once we have our scenarios in place, the next step is to create storyboards.


Storyboards are derived from scenarios and are used primarily in planning/early design phase

It is usually a series of images and words that describe a story like a comic or a graphic novel

Its contents and style can vary, but it typically highlights user's pain points and outlines the solution for a scenario

These have been used for a long time in films and stage productions.

Example storyboards

Why Storyboards ?

  • It puts user activities at a higher level than at a screen level

  • It makes you consider parts of experience that don't involve the system

  • They also depict situations in an emotional way, which helps to create empathy

User Flows

Once a storyboard is in place, its time to create user flows.

Userflows are a series of steps the user needs to follow to achieve a particular task.They are a precursor to wireframing. Its about working out how users go from point A to point B for a particular task.

Start with the happy path. When you do this, you find the unhappy paths and then you can get into what's missing to solve the unhappy paths.

The specificity of your thinking should be reflected in your user flows.

Once you have the user flows, you can start prototyping.

What is a prototype ?

Its an early concept, sample, model of a product to test a concept.

Simple paper prototyping is the most cost effective.

Prototyping is still in develop section in double diamond process. The idea is to prototype early and often especially in the early phases of the project.

What are some of the considerations to take into while creating prototypes ?

  • Information Architecture : It is the organization, searching and navigation systems that help people to complete tasks, find what they need and also understand what they found

  • Ontology : It is a hierarchy of concepts within a domain. Its all about wayfinding

  • Taxonomy : It is the study and practice of classification. It is to understand that people classify things differently.

These helps to foster a conversation. Website or app is not a infinite repository, it a conversation. Users have questions, content provides the answers quickly and concisely.

Its important to not spend hours and days on prototyping. To keep the feedback loop smaller, start testing with users as early as possible.

How to do usability Testing with paper protoyping ?

  • Describe user scenario and goal

  • Instruct the testers to "think out loud". This is to understand their mental model.

  • Instruct the testers to "click" with their finger or a pen

  • Play the role of "human computer" in response to the clicking

  • Don't lead the testers, observe their interactions

  • When the unexpected happens , acknowledge it, take notes and nudge the testers back on track to resume testing

  • On finish, debrief the testers and ask clarifying questions like why did you click here on "x" instead of clicking on "y etc.

An example of good usability testing :

Few things to be wary of :

  • When u test with same people you researched with, it can lead to bad feelings especially if you went a different direction than what was indicated by the user.

  • Don't get too much into the visual design yet, because then all people can focus on is colors. Just use the bare bone prototypes so you can draw their attention to the job at hand and that is testing usability and functionality.

Food for thought

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