What actions are needed to warranty a good result on user experience? At what stages should we take part to achieve the project goals?
The success of a project depends much more on the strategy and the people involved in it, not only on their talents but also on their ability to communicate and work as a team, than on the process itself.
Knowing this, I would like to explain what this process consists of, and what are the benefits it can provide to an integrated team, with good communication habits, and deeply aware of the strategy of your project.
The process outlined in the previous visualization aims to represent the different stages of analysis, design, and development focused on the user, with all the profiles involved in it.
It is important to highlight that, although this process is represented with a cycle, it is formed in turn by different cycles, which aim to ensure that everything that comes out of them moves in the right direction.
Petition by the stakeholder.
A stakeholder is “the one who pays the bill”. We mean the CEO of the company, or the person responsible for pay out the hours of design and development effort involved in the particular work.
If we are lucky and we have a good stakeholder, we can obtain a clear goal. If we are really lucky we will even obtain a strategic vision.
In exceptional cases, we can even have stakeholders that participate in the design or development processes, although their functions are usually limited to validation.
Steps 2 and 5
The second and fifth steps are connected to each other and feed each other. The research draws on the data and the relationship with the results of previous iterations generating new premises to develop the design work itself.
In these stages, there are many analysis and experimentation tools to obtain conclusions, so choosing one method or another depends on the question we want to answer in each case.
In this diagram are detailed some of the most used that include both qualitative and quantitative analysis.
I would like to highlight the importance of using both techniques. It is as important to have fluid conversations with our users, as to make an exhaustive measurement of their behavior.
On the other hand, it is essential both to drive the previous research work for its correct definition (step 2), and to constantly monitor the results (step 5).
To achieve it, it is usual to define some type of KPI in the definition phase and to plan compare the results periodically.
Although there is some controversy about which role should establish these measurements and review them, I recommend defining certain KPIs from a UX point of view, regardless of whether the PM, PO or Stakeholder decides to manage others for business-focused purposes, etc …
“Design” and validation
At this stage, we will work on what is commonly known as “design”, that is, the realization of mockups with greater or lesser fidelity and their validation.
Although on many occasions we have a tendency to avoid this validation by real users, it is one of the most critical moments of our process because it can lead to greater cost savings in the long term.
Detecting usability problems, inconsistencies or even lack of interest in the functionality by the users, regardless of the opinion of the stakeholders themselves, can critically vary the success of our development once the final product has been delivered.
At this stage, we have the opportunity to get feedback before writing a single line of code which can reduce the risk of the investment considerably.
Finally, we arrive to the most critical stage, in which our ability to control the final result of our designed is minimized.
To ensure that this stage is resolved effectively it is important:
Create accurate, detailed and appealing documents.
Establish trustful relationships with the development team.
At this point, I think it is important to involve the technical team from the early stages of definition and design. Although this is not always possible or desirable, we must understand that they are the ones who shape and build the final product. They are the true creators of the final art, and we must get involved in their work, not to interfere or guide them, but to team up and work together.
Set a review requirement in the development process.
Many teams work with agile methodologies such as SCRUM or Kanban and integrate QA into their validation and delivery stages. It is important at this point to also establish the UX requirements for each individual task to close (or not) a task, or by conducting a general review when completing a specific epic or iteration.
Without this final review, the quality at UX level of the final result may be reduced by more functional criteria, lack of compliance with certain communicative criteria (UX copy too technical) or UI (aesthetics, responsiveness, browsers compatibility, etc. ..).
Build a design system!!!
Otra de las herramientas que permiten agilizar esta etapa y garantizar un resultado final armónico y consistente, es definir y desarrollar un sistema de diseño integrado con el desarrollo.
And that’s it! 🙂