My last column, “Specifying Behavior,” focused on the importance of interaction designers’ taking full responsibility for designing and clearly communicating the behavior of product user interfaces. At the conclusion of the Design Phase for a product release, interaction designers’ provide key design deliverables that play a crucial role in ensuring their solutions to design problems actually get built. These deliverables might take the form of high-fidelity, interactive prototypes; detailed storyboards that show every state of a user interface in sequence; detailed, comprehensive interaction design specifications; or some combination of these. Whatever form they take, producing these interaction design deliverables is a fundamental part of a successful product design process.
In this installment of On Good Behavior, I’ll provide an overview of a product design process, then discuss some indispensable activities that are part of an effective design process, with a particular focus on those activities that are essential for good interaction design. Although this column focuses primarily on activities that are typically the responsibility of interaction designers, this discussion of the product design process applies to all aspects of UX design. Read More
In this edition of Ask UXmatters, our expert panel discusses how to elicit business requirements, whose fulfillment is just as essential to a product or organization’s success as fulfilling user requirements. Our experts suggest some approaches for discerning and understanding business strategy, as well as for eliciting and defining specific product or service requirements.
To understand business strategy and requirements, our expert panel recommends talking with many stakeholders—both one on one and in groups. Our experts also suggest some explicit questions that you should ask stakeholders and specific learnings to explore—for example, to understand the competitive landscape. Depending on your work context, key people you might work with in eliciting and defining product or service requirements could include product managers or business analysts. Read More
“Design the right things versus designing things right.”
About five years ago, I began hearing this expression more frequently. At that time, I was in the middle of an exciting, mind-changing experience: my company had given me the chance to relocate to Vienna, Austria. From one day to the next, I had landed in another city, in another country, with people speaking another language. I was completely out of my element. Most importantly, I started working as an insourced designer at an international bank that was a client of my design studio.
I wasn’t alone; a team of colleagues had already been there for about eight months. In those first days, I carefully observed how the design team laid the foundation for all their activities. How the Head of UX and the other senior designers were dealing with new requirements coming from stakeholders was very interesting to me. They often challenged those requirements—sometimes quite rigorously. Having arrived with a consulting-oriented mindset, that was a bit surprising to me—although my design studio, Digital Entity, has always supported challenging the requests and briefs coming from our clients, with the aim of designing the best possible experience for users. But my perception changed a little once I had started working as an insourced designer. I was now able to see how clients generated the requirements. Read More