Design approach (with examples)

I follow a design thinking process which is iterative, hypothesis-driven and based on evidence. The key is to bring ideas to life based on how real people think, feel and behave. The process may include: 

  1. Product and user research
  2. UX/UI audit
  3. Ideation and wireframing
  4. Design system and UI design
  5. Implementation
  6. Testing, validating, iterating

 

Stage 1. Product and user research

First, I will dive into specifics of a product and its role in people’s lives. This should include understanding the industry and getting familiar with our customers along with their experiences, goals, needs, fears and motivations. The results of this stage could be empathy maps, behavioral archetypes and possibly some other artifacts if required.

Secondly, I need to understand the business side of the product. We can use Business Model Canvas or similar tools to recap what problems we are trying to solve, what solutions we offer, how we are different from competitors, what our revenue model is, what channels we will use to acquire users, what metrics we will focus on and what our Unique Value Proposition is

 

Stage 2. UX/UI audit

I may create a User Experience Audit (UX Audit) of the current experience to identify key problems and solutions. The audit will reveal which parts of the product could be causing headaches for users and problems for business. 

The UX audit report may cover:

  • Usability
  • Information architecture
  • Interaction design
  • Conversion & user flows
  • Visual design
  • Content, messaging & language
  • Email communications (optional)

However, if there are no obvious flaws, I may not waste time on creating the audit.

Check my Medium page for UX audits

 

Stage 3. Ideation and wireframing

During this stage I start planning and wireframing the updated experience. This may include revising an information architecture as well as mapping user journeys, scenarios, user stories, user flows. The important things to consider are copywriting, microcopy and overall content strategy. 

Examples:

 

Stage 4. Design system and UI design

Based on the findings and wireframes, I start creating visual design for the updated experience. The outcomes are high fidelity UI designs ready to be handed over to developers. 

I communicate how every piece of the design looks and works. This includes components, colours, styles, typography, measurements, flows, behaviours, functionality etc. 

Recent product UI design: CONXAI (Desktop, mobile, design system)

 

Stage 5. Implementation

The goal of this stage is to implement the designs and overall user experience. I collaborate with developers to make sure the design is consistent and done right. 

 

Stage 6. Testing, validating, iterating

The above design and development process is not linear. The stages of the process often have considerable overlap. As we learn more about the problem being solved, it may be necessary to revisit some of the research or try out new design ideas.

To design a successful product we must adopt a process of continual improvement i.e constantly refining and improving the product based on the real-world feedback we receive.

 

Key principles: 

  1. We don’t just build a product, we build relationships with people.
  2. Keep things simple!
  3. Make things clear.
  4. Again, do not overcomplicate.
  5. Why are we doing this?
  6. Apply scientific thinking vs wishful thinking.
  7. Convert guesses into hypotheses.
  8. “If we do {this}, then {that} should happen”.
  9. No need — no build. If nobody needs it, then don’t build it.
  10. The simplest execution is usually the best one.
  11. Refer to qualitative and quantitative data. Test early and often.
  12. Focus on the efforts that bring the most value.
  13. People, not users.
  14. Dig into the root cause of a problem. Use 5 whys technique.
  15. Identify delighters vs frustrators.
  16. Support vs manipulate.
  17. Naming is crucial.
  18. Microcopy is important.
  19. Content is the key.
  20. Remove all noise.
  21. Make sure people can recover from errors well.
  22. Apply Kano Model.
  23. Start with an end goal.
  24. Focus on results, not deliverables.
  25. Be productive, not busy.
  26. Use UX framework.

Example case study. Picterra SaaS.

Picterra is geospatial cloud-based-platform specially designed for training deep learning based detectors. It automates the analysis of satellite and aerial imagery, enabling users to identify objects and patterns (road cracks, damaged roofs etc.) at scale, anywhere on Earth.

As a full-time UX Designer, I was leading every aspect of Picterra User Experience. It included: research, analytics, interviews, prototyping, UI design, usability testings, conversion optimisation and many more.

Check the case here: Picterra SaaS Case Study