- Higher user satisfaction - this was proven through qualitative research.
- Greater understanding and collaboration between internal and external stakeholders.
- Problems eliminated pre-development.
From stories, to paper to high fidelity...the audience determines its form.
The power of prototyping cannot be underestimated. I don't believe that you can design a user experience purely from initial research. The combined reaction from a sample group of actual users will tell you more about their experience than anything else. Prototyping, testing and iterating is the best research you can do.
To comply with my NDA, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information in this case study.
Product owners/analysts presented me with specific product needs which I'd then question in order to get to grips with the "why" factor. This is the most powerful question type you can ask a stakeholder about a given scenario. Ask a user "why" they do something rather than "how" or "what" they do and you'll get closer to the user's needs and jobs they need to get done. I'd ask these questions per user type and follow up by asking "when" would they do such a task.
Sometimes it would help to draw out a simple storyboard of the events that take place in and around when the user/s were likely to engage with our software.
A lot of my work is based around prototyping. It's level of fidelity usually depends on the type of people that I'm sharing it with. When sharing internally, I love to paper prototype. I've also done this with users after a testing session. Being part of a small team, I needed to maximise the impact of carrying out user testing.
The best constructive criticism and ideas usually come at this stage. People are more forthcoming with feedback when they know this is not your finished work. It makes people focus on the efficiency of completing tasks rather than aesthetics. You can also make tons of them in a very short period of time.
We then identified patterns in usage, documented our findings per user type and adjusted the prototypes where necessary. It is very important to acknowledge how different users may perceive your designs. It's not just a case of "some will like and some will not." Different user types will have different goals when engaging with your system. The structure of content and layout may look perfect to one user and be completely irrelevant to another.