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However, a responsive design approach using a single site may not solve a key issue. An alternative approach is to plan for and design a unique mobile experience for your users, focusing on the strengths of a mobile platform from the beginning and removing non-essential content see Figures 2. With the constraint of devices, app designers have a greater degree of control over how their products are viewed and the interactions that result.
The common app platforms iPhone and Android, for example have guidelines that help ensure a greater degree of consistency in interaction. Site 25 and other web development tools close the gap, however, the differences between app and web experiences may become less pronounced.
Providing users with the ability to purchase a web-based mobile site involves more involved integration, which you may need to take on yourself. A mobile website, on the other hand, can be viewed on any device with the appropriate web browser.
Because one mobile- optimized website can reach many more people, the cost may be substantially lower. There are companies that provide software that promises to help you build one app and deploy it to multiple devices see www. Tools like this come with their own constraints, so be sure to explore them before going down the path of an app.
Whichever path you choose, be sure to pick your target devices and platforms before you begin to walk down it. Those choices will constrain your design and impact your testing plans. Mobile Design Principles The great number of mobile devices can make design decisions somewhat daunting. However, the very fact of their mobility gives them some common principles that can help you focus. Consider the content or features that your users will need quickly, and then be sure to provide clear access and fast retrieval.
As mentioned previously, the smaller screens of mobile devices force a focus on a small set of clear options. They also lend themselves well to quick, linear tasks. Ensure tasks completed on your mobile solution are simple, short, and effective. These elements can work together powerfully to anticipate user needs and provide relevant information, just-in-time. Context in particular is one of the most exciting ways that mobile devices differ from desktop experiences.
People who would never bring their laptop out when standing at a bus stop kill the time by using their phones or reading on tablets. These golden opportunities to provide useful, delightful, and engaging experiences will be missed by companies who do not consider the real-world context of their users.
Snorkeling For more on mobile strategy, and tips on designing for mobile interfaces, pick up the quick-read Mobile First by Luke Wroblewski A Book Apart, Site 27 Gestural Interactions Gestural interactions are those that use natural user movements, like swiping and pinching with the hand, instead of or in addition to traditional interactions with mouse and keyboard.
They require a touchscreen interface, and other hardware and software that can interpret one or more user touches and specific actions users will make. However, the most common use of gestural interfaces can be found on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, and should be a part of your considerations when designing a mobile solution. When designing gestural interfaces, make sure your interactive elements, like buttons and anything else that can be manipulated, are large enough for the digits needed to use them one finger for pushing, two fingers for pinching, multiple fingers for a swipe, and so on.
Testing is essential to understanding if your product responds in the natural way expected by users. He includes a background in the technology involved, and new interface patterns for designers to consider. Identifying the type of site or application you may be working on during a project is only the first step. The guide also features an outline that shows how popular software programs support touch gestures.
Additionally, the guide is available in the form of handy flash cards. With this understanding, you can represent yourself more clearly from the beginning of the project. What are the most common roles expected of a UX designer? In general, you can expect to encounter the big three: information architect, interaction designer, and user researcher. Note Few companies have the size or budget to split these common roles among different individuals.
Information Architect An information architect is responsible for creating models for information structure and using them to design user-friendly navigation and content categorization. Understanding Expectations Within the UX field, distinctions are made between the roles of the information architect and the interaction designer discussed next.
Essentially, for more task-based applications it makes sense to emphasize the role of interaction designer, and for more content-based projects it makes sense to emphasize the role of information architect. Interaction Designer An interaction designer is responsible for defining the behavior of a site or application in accordance with user actions. This includes flows in the site across multiple views and interactivity within a particular view.
The process of gathering and detailing functional requirements can be helped greatly by the skills of a UX designer, and documents such as functional specifications and use cases are affected by experience design. Be sure to sit down with the person in charge of gathering requirements to discuss how you can best work together. User Researcher A user researcher is responsible for providing insights regarding the needs of end users, based on information that is generated from, or validated with, the research that person conducts with users.
There are many types of activities that can fall into the category of user research, and they can occur at several points in the project timeline. The expectations for user research can vary between business stakeholders and the project team, so be sure to clarify expectations for the role with both groups. The client may also expect the user researcher to provide insights based on site analyticsï¿½tools and reports that communicate patterns of use on the site, such as frequently visited pages and common points where users leave the site.
Can you balance all three, or are you biting off more than you can chew? In part that depends on the size and timeline of the project, but the type of project also has an impact on how much involvement each role is likely to have. Table 2. Surfing need to make the case for UX design? Low involvement for smaller sites like a single landing page. Very high involvement. Content sources require an information architecture that has an appropriate balance of structure and flexibility, to give users a solid base to stand on and allow for planned growth.
Low involvement for smaller sites, medium to high involvement for larger microsites or advergames sponsored online games meant to generate play and buzz.
This kind of project often requires the heaviest lifting, as interaction design deliverables such as user process flows and wireframes are key to communicating requirements visually. Field research such as contextual inquiry can help the team understand how different users currently work with information.
The greater the content challenge, the more like a content source the project will become. Interaction Designer medium involvement. The greater the number of tasks, the more like a task-based application the project will become. User Researcher Involvement will vary based on budget and access to users. Listed here are common techniques for each project type. For more on each of these techniques, see Chapter 6. Content sources may also have workflows involving content creation and management.
Card sorting is an excellent way to understand how your users may group information and common patterns and mental models. Once a framework has been set, usability testing can validate the structure.
Field research such as contextual inquiry can be done to understand tasks as users are currently completing them. The most frequently used and best understood technique for involving users in the design of a task-based application, however, is usability testing.
This role often entails creating or representing branding guidelines and understanding how they apply to different projects. This responsibility may be given to the UX designer or visual designer on a project. The brand steward role may be more active if the site is meant to extend the brand somehowï¿½targeting a new market, for example. For example, CellularOne rebranded itself completely to become Cingular, a major effort for an established company.
In that situation you should either be very experienced in brand development or establish a clear and close relationship with the person at the company who is.
If so, who is responsible for ensuring the brand guidelines are still appropriate to those audiences? If so, how should I plan to be involved? An example would be creating a name for a new tool that will be heavily promoted.
Business Analyst A business analyst sometimes referred to as a business systems analyst on IT projects is responsible for identifying key business stakeholders, driving the requirements-gathering process see Chapter 5 , and serving as the primary liaison between business stakeholders and the technology team.
The role of business analyst or product manager may not exist on your project at all or it may be one of the most important roles through the design process. Task-based applications and content sources often have this kind of role; brand presence projects and marketing campaigns may not.
A taskbased application is most likely to need this role. The more features and the greater the complexity of the project, the greater the needs will be for a dedicated person and for documentation of functionality.
Business analysts drive the capture of business requirements, serving as the liaison between the technology team and the key business stakeholders. If there is a business analyst on a project, that person and the interaction designer are often joined at the hip.
To understand expectations in this area, ask who will be responsible for outlining the scope of the project, facilitating the discussions around requirements, and documenting requirements throughout the project. For small projects or those that are not heavy in functionality, the project manager sometimes will take on these responsibilities.
Content Strategist A content strategist is responsible for understanding business and user requirements for content in various media articles, documents, photos, and video , identifying gaps in existing content, and facilitating the workflow and development of new content.
Content-related efforts are often underestimated. Also, there are sometimes unspoken expectations that people within the client organization will generate contentï¿½expectations that may CHOOsE yOUR HATs 37 come as a surprise to those people when the time comes to populate your product with descriptions, news, and help topics!
This will vary based on general project type. For task-based applications, it may include instructional copy, error messages, and help topics. For content sources, it may include articles, news items, and blog posts. This is another area where the effort required is often underestimated. Copywriter A copywriter is responsible for writing the text on the site that frames the overall experience. In some cases, this copy remains fairly unchanged from day to day.
It typically includes site and page introductions or in-page instructions. A copywriter may also be involved in the ongoing creation of dynamic content, such as news stories or copy for marketing campaigns. Copywriting is one of those gray areas that often falls to a UX designer, especially if wireframes are being created see Chapter Visual Designer A visual designer is responsible for the elements of the site or application that the user sees.
For example, a banking site often needs to appear stable, trustworthy, and accessible. The visual design can give this assurance through visual elements such as colors and imagery. That promise will then be kept or broken by the interaction design of the site and other touchpoints with the company such as a call center.
There is a big difference between creating an effective, immersive, and emotional visual design and just getting by. On the other hand, it can also be easy to focus too strongly on creating an impact with the visual design, allowing the usability of the design to suffer. For task-based applications, they may provide a style guide that can be applied to common interaction elements, such as navigation areas and tools which calls for a high degree of collaboration with the interaction designer.
Front-End Developer A front-end developer is responsible for building the technical structure behind the page designs and flows, as well as interactive elements within the site, such as rollover menus, expandable areas of content, and interactions with multimedia elements like video.
Front-end development focuses on the elements of the site that tie directly to what the user sees, as opposed to the systems on the back end that provide the underlying platform such as databases, content management systems, and the code needed to build the functionality behind complex features. If you or members of your team are taking on the role of front-end developer, close collaboration with the rest of the development team is important to understanding expectations and responsibilities.
If a prototype is being planned see Chapter 13 , ask who is responsible for developing the prototype and what level of functionality is expected. A prototype meant to simply communicate possibilities can be created quickly in an application such as Flash, but a fully functioning prototype that needs to pull real data for example the account information a user just entered in a form will need to be done in close collaboration with members of the back-end development team.
Worried about taking on all these roles? For the rest, you can get the support you need on the project team by building a network within the client company or by recommending additional people to fill the needs. There are most likely some key resources in other departments within the company that can help you be successful.
This may also be a source for visual designers and content strategists. CHOOsE yOUR HATs 41 If you have recently been hired by a new company and expect to be working across departments, one of the best things you can do out of the gate is to identify key people who could be partners and schedule some interview time with them to understand their roles and experience. It starts you off with a network that you can often rely on for a long time and gives you the opportunity to explain your responsibilities and user experience design in general.
Good communication is key to understanding expectations about roles and building trust. Another key to gaining trust within the company is to understand its culture, the often unspoken expectations of how a company works, such as those created by past project experiences positive or negative , etiquette regarding organizational hierarchy, and acceptable work logistics such as working from home.
The following are some aspects that are good to keep in mind as you scope projects and navigate potentially tricky political situations. Understanding how a project or team has gotten to its current state of need can help you understand the challenges you may face during the project.
Although some of the answers to these questions may seem dire, keep in mind that something has triggered the need to bring you in on the project, so a project can have a rocky history and still be successful. In that case, consider an overall evaluation of whether this project is positioned to succeed. What is a past project that seems to have been a failure or particularly painful , and why did it fail?
Asking these questions either directly or in a more subtle, conversational manner can help you understand a couple of things: how the person answering defines success, potential risks to your project, and any biases or expectations that will be carried through to this project, as well as approaches that worked well.
If you can ask more than one person at the company this question, it will help you understand a lot about unspoken expectations.
If so, this could be a sign that key client stakeholders are not on the same page or are not being involved at appropriate times, causing multiple stalls, direction changes, or lost time due to multiple iterations. It may also mean there is not a clear leader, someone who can say no or at least effectively prioritize to keep the focus on business objectives. This can be a mixed blessing.
On the other, you may be given a design that you feel does not meet the project goals for the user experience. This can be a delicate situation to navigate. There are many reasons this could occur, especially if some of the factors above are in play.
Anxiety could also be due to market pressures that it would be helpful for you to understand. For example, has the company stock price been dropping? Has a particular competitor made recent alarming strides? Is the business operating in the red? One of them is the concept of power distance, which is the extent to which members of a society in our case, a company understand and accept the distance between people of different levels of power.
If the company encourages a democratic sharing of ideas and questioning of vision, it may have a relatively small power distance. This represents inequality more versus less , but defined from below, not from above. Apple has a relatively large power distance if you consider the aura around steve jobs , and Google has a relatively small power distance as part of its culture, but both companies are known for being innovative leaders.
What is important to note is that the power distance within the client company will have an impact on how you successfully navigate the political waters during the project. This aspect will become particularly important at key points in the project: during requirements gathering discussed in Chapter 5 and at key milestones such as sign-off points discussed in Chapter 4.
Will your team be expected to work late hours to meet looming deadlines? Expectations regarding remote work versus on-site work are good to understand as well.
For example, is use of instant messaging applications acceptable? What web conferencing tools are in use? Are there methods of including international stakeholders that have proven effective in the past? This information will be valuable as you outline your role in the project and get ready to begin in earnest. Proposals and statements of work are essential to protecting your businessï¿½and yourselfï¿½from financial and legal troubles.
After you accept a project and shake hands, make sure you spend the right amount of time composing an agreement that details the terms of your relationship and the payment schedule for your client. Every type of project you encounter will have varying flavors that will keep you on your toes when it comes time to author the proposal. When should you write a proposal? Why should you write a proposal? Throughout the history of working on projects, the ones that have put people in the most uncomfortable situations have been those where there was no agreement in place between the client and the vendor.
You may be very tempted to skip this step when you make the first connection with a potential client and things seem to click. In fact, this is exactly the point where you need to slow down and take a breath. Instead of getting right to work, take the time to define your professional relationship and the rules of engagement with your new client. While it is almost impossible to prepare for all possible contingencies, a comprehensive written contract is your best defense and the smartest way to ensure that you do not later find yourself in a courtroom arguing about the terms of your relationship.
Promises can be broken on both sides of the relationship. A client can fail to provide you with timely access to content.
I know that this is almost unheard of, but believe it or not, it happens! Companies also realize that they are taking risks working with external vendorsï¿½especially those who are very small businesses or independent contractors. Well-written proposals provide clients with a sense of stability and protection, which can help alleviate many of the concerns that might arise. A proposal also allows you to define terms that protect both sides in the event that something changes. If a client loses funding and kills the projectï¿½and you do not have a proposal or other form of contract in placeï¿½then you may run the risk of not getting paid for work you have already completed.
The point should be crystal clear: Always write a proposal. The sooner a proposal is approved and signed, the sooner you can begin work andï¿½most importantlyï¿½begin to get paid for the work.
Title Page The title page is the simple page that introduces your document. Title pages are an interesting beast: there are a number of ways you can create them from a style and information perspective.
How you do it is up to you. Why not include these elements on the title page? Your client knows who they are. The cost is best placed after you have identified the various components of the project in the body, and the cost information leads nicely into the payment schedule. The project reference number is something to be aware of. A lot of companies will not use one at all; however, some government agencies are known to rely upon this particular item, and if it is not found on your title page Figure 3.
In figure 3. In the event that permission was not given or a relationship was not established, it is best not to display the logo of the client company. In general, it is best to provide the version number, date, author, and any comments associated with the version, such as what was modified, in order to provide the reader with context as to the modifications Table 3.
If you choose to move forward with the client and make these changes, you should take the opportunity to update your document from version 1. In essence, when a client approves a proposal and both parties agree upon the terms, you are ready to begin working. This ensures your costs still make sense and that there is a clear understanding on both sides about the modifications and at what stage the project is restarting if necessary.
You should also always provide an appropriate explanation of why the revision constitutes a full new version in the revision history. Project Overview The overview section is a description of the project you will be working onï¿½ in your own words. This description should provide your client with a clear picture of what you envision their product will entail, as well as an explanation of what they can expect to find in the rest of the proposal. Here is an example of the beginning of an overview: [Client Company name] is seeking to create a new online web presence.
This web presence provides [Client Company name] customers with an ability to research and purchase products online, as well as other services and benefits available through the company. The goals of the online web presence are toï¿½ You should be able to give a solid overview in one or two paragraphs, providing a very high-level amount of detail as to what the client should expect from you.
This is your opportunity to identify to your client how you plan on working on the project with them. You get to define your rules of engagement and set expectations for the work that is ahead of you. Many individuals and companies operate with very similar methodologiesï¿½but use different names or clever acronyms that dovetail with their overall branding.
The name of the process is slightly cheesy, and the process is clearly somewhat incomplete. Post-launch analysis was omitted from this methodology an oversight , but it should be included for all clients, of course. P ï¿½ Prepare. We dedicate a portion of every initiative to understanding your industry and your competitors and how they do business in order to be as informed as possible prior to beginning requirements gathering.
U ï¿½ Understand. R ï¿½ Render. In our experience, any development phase requires a lot of heads-down, focused work effort but also timely, open communication with your team s.
It also requires that we I ï¿½ Iterate. The Iterate phase is repeated throughout the entire lifecycle of the project. This requires direct and timely involvement from you and your dedicated resources. T ï¿½ Test. This additional round of testing helps ensure that as few stones as possible are left unturned in order to deliver a project that has been rigorously evaluated from multiple levels.
E ï¿½ Enable. After project completion, we regularly communicate with our clients. We will continue to gauge your satisfaction levels, understand your changing goals or project enhancements, and assist you in defining the best approach for the future development of your project. You are welcome to use as little or as much of this as is applicable or useful to you.
The mythological author who created the process does not mind if you do not credit the source, either. The approach section of your proposal will vary in length depending upon the project, your process, and the activities that take place within each step of your process.
Try to keep it to two to three pages maximum, though, and ensure that you include only the outputs that you will be able to deliver to your clientï¿½to prevent further updating of the document or revisiting the project pricing. That is, you identify which components of the project you are responsible for and which the client is responsible for.
Reread that. Think about it for a moment. There we go. This is the part of the proposal where you tell the client, in writing, we are going to do this and you are going to do that.
Then later, when the client signs your proposal, they are agreeing to this arrangement, and you have a paper trail to back you up in the event of any misunderstandings. The intention here is to clearly identify who is going to be handling what aspects of the project, as well as what aspects of the project are included within your proposal and for the price that you have estimated.
If you can find no other really compelling reason to write a proposal, this should be reason enough. Here is a very brief example of a scope of work: We were approached by [Client Company name] to provide all services required to build [Project Type]. Assumptions The assumptions section of the proposal is a good place to spell out, without leaving room for debate, what is needed from your client to ensure your success.
That is, these are the things that you are assumingï¿½and communicating to the clientï¿½that you will have access to or that will be delivered to you to make the project a success.
In general, the assumptions are an expectation of resources and assets, as well as timely translation: prompt, immediate access to both of these. Here is an example of how to write assumptions: Assumptions It is necessary that [Client Company name] provide the following assets and resources. An inability to provide these assets and resources in a timely and complete manner may contribute to the unsuccessful or delayed delivery of this project. The following assets and resources are expected: Timely access to all required [Client Company name] employees.
Timely access to all required assets of the [Project] in current state, including any source files, if available.
Content, as required and including but not limited to copy, imagery, audio, etc. Deliverables deliverables are the work product that you will create and turn over to the client.
This section is your opportunity to detail to the client what type of work product they can expect from you during the course of the project. It is recommended that you handle status reporting separately, closer to the end of the project, but feel free to add it to this part of the project. Deliverables [Your Company name] provides a variety of deliverables throughout the course of a project. This document will help us to create a quick and effective, high-level overview of the project.
And so onï¿½ Ownership and Rights It is important to consider the extent to which you will allow your client to use the work product that you produce.
This means that when performing work on a project that is work for hire, you have absolutely no rights to the work and everything you create related to the project is owned by the client. When you put work for hire projects in the context of full-time employment with a company, this is pretty standard for an employer-employee relationship. It is also an opportunity to visit your pricing modelï¿½many projects are billed at a somewhat increased rate to compensate for the potentially lost revenue in the future.
Remember, this all depends upon the relationship you have with your client and how you choose to do business. Time and experience will help you make the right determination for the types of work you do and the pricing models you choose.
You will most likely take advantage of licensing your work when you retain ownership of all of the source material of your work and deliver only limited-use work product to your clients such as Pdfs instead of original, editable Word, Visio, Axure, omniGraffle, or other documents.
You can take many different approaches to licensing your work, including licensing work to be used without modification, noncommercially, or a number of other ways that may fit your situation. If you find yourself in a situation where you are getting into very detailed and specific needs, it is always best to contact a copyright attorney to assist you in creating the best possible solution. Additional Costs and Fees It is important that your client understand whether the project pricing you will provide for them does or does not account for external resources.
You can either purchase the imagery with the appropriate usage rights and include that as a part of your fee, or you can clearly identify the purchase of imagery as an additional cost that will be passed along to your client.
You may also offer services that you want to make your client aware ofï¿½this is a good opportunity to promote those services. Here is an example of how to explain how additional costs and fees will be handled: Additional Costs and Fees In the event that outside resources are required such as content, imagery, fonts, etc.
In addition, [Your Company name] can provide hosting services to our clients with very low overhead. There are a variety of formulas to help you with this, such as applying degrees of difficulty to each portion of the project, to help you come up with a cost range to provide to your client.
In most cases, experience is going to be the key to helping you appropriately estimate your projectsï¿½from a time-and-materials perspective. How do you determine your billing rate? Research what others are charging, for comparison, by locating salary surveys and contractor rates. You can get a decent idea of the rates you could charge by taking into account your experience, what others in your market are charging, and what you feel is somewhat fair.
Remember: You can always lower your rate. There are many different ways to structure the pricing for your project. In the event that [Your Company name] is requested to provide content services, the estimates will need to be redefined. The estimates are as follows: Estimate 1 [Your Company name] estimates that the [Project] for [Client Company name], without any interactive contentï¿½ Remember, there is no real wrong way to put together your project estimateï¿½unless you put yourself into a negative cash flow position!
Payment Schedule There is a myth floating around that all freelance projects are paid 50 percent up front, before the work begins, and 50 percent upon completion, when the project ends. This myth needs to be dispelledï¿½right now!
This is no way to do business, and it is no way to ensure timely, consistent income while you perform the work. You can price projects a number of waysï¿½from submitted invoices in a predetermined time frame to milestone-based payments. A wiser approach is to steer your projects to a recurring payment schedule with regular, detailed invoices.
This approach should also provide clients with a clear understanding of what has been accomplished and what work is remaining on the project. This stipulation can help you keep your project on track and moving forwardï¿½ and it gives you a discussion point with your clients. If you will not be doing additional work for them for a long time, you want to be able to move on and look for work to fill the void. Always prepare two copiesï¿½one for each partyï¿½and ensure that both copies are signed.
Here is an example of an acknowledgment you can use: Acknowledgment This proposal is acknowledged and agreed in its entirety by [Client Company name]. This proposal must be signed and dated by an authorized representative of [Client Company name] in order to be in effect. Alternately, a signed purchase order referencing this proposal will constitute acceptance in place of this signed document provided, however, that any preprinted terms on such purchase order shall be considered null and void and of no effect.
This proposal constitutes the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the subject matter of this proposal. Each of the parties acknowledges and agrees that in executing this proposal it has not relied upon, and it expressly disclaims any reliance upon, any representation or statement not set forth herein or in the Agreement. When you are a small shop working with a behemoth client, it is InCREdIBlY likely that they will have their own agreements they want to use, and their own army of lawyers that want to cross every t and dot every i.
While I think everyone sHould have liability insurance, I have always been able to argue down the amount. Unfavorable payment terms. The soW is typically written before you get into detailed requirements, although depending upon your client and your project needs, you may choose to create a hybrid document that best suits your needs.
The soW will define the inputs and outputs of the project, as well as assumptions and limitations. It can be a little risky to 90 days. No-hire clauses. If you have employees, or if you anticipate having them, pay attention. If you work with a really big company, this is crazyï¿½because you might want to hire someone from a completely different part of the company, completely unrelated to the project, and that agreement will prevent you from doing so. Additionally, the big client rarely includes language that will prevent them from hiring YouR employees.
You have to add that. Copyright and NDA terms. One final thought: The client is hiring you to do the work because you know it better than anyone at their company. It is vital that your client understands the scope of work as well as you doï¿½otherwise, it will come back to haunt you.
It is recommended that you do your best to avoid specifics or commitments without defining the details. That said, you have to make a judgment call at this point. Remember, erring on the side of caution is always better than an uncomfortable situation later on in the project. They shouldï¿½you can put together an soW utilizing a trimmed-down version of the proposal. You have now learned how to put together two types of documentation that will allow you to identify the work you are performing for a client.
These documents should be the foundation of any project work you do for any client and will give you and your clients a well-defined set of marching orders for your projects. This chapter talks about forming project objectives and offers some questions that will help you solidify those goals.
The project manager hands out some materials and gives you an overview of the project. All of these questions concern the expectations that stakeholders have for the project: what the project will accomplish and how they will be involved in it. A project objective is a statement of a measurable goal for the project.
The objective for that project would then be focused on reaching and engaging that market. A clear objective resonates throughout a project. Make concrete statements that you can set an independent measurement against to determine your success As you define a fuzzy objective, making it clear and measurable, it becomes a solid objective that you can base decisions on Figure 4. Analyzing fuzzy ones such as those below will help you solidify your objectives and communicate more effectively within the project team.
Multiple initiatives at the company need to come together to make this happen; any one site or application may help with this but will be very unlikely to be able to handle the entire burdenï¿½unless the entire company is about this one site or application and it ends up being wildly successful.
Why is it important to generate excitement? How does that excitement translate into meeting a business need? They can also map pretty closely to your designs and the features offered. Objectives may also bring out new requirements. In these ways, objectives help you focus as you gather ideas for the site, and these may later become project requirements. If there are multiple objectives, be sure to create a prioritized list with your business sponsor and project team.
Objectives sometimes conflict with each other during design, and the team will need to know what takes precedence. The final prioritized list of objectives should come from your project sponsor, but you can be a key part of the discussion. If you find the project objectives are unclear at the beginning of a project, you can bring your facilitation skills to bear.
Help the project team understand the business-related context of the project by holding a workshop with key stakeholders see the next chapter for more on identifying the right stakeholders. Considering the things that differentiate the company from its competitors, what future initiatives could it pursue that will open up a new niche or strengthen a current one? What situations could threaten those plans? That could give competitors a chance to respond more quickly a threat.
Who are the competitors for the site being developed? They can be different, especially for large companies or brand new sites. Understanding the project approach will help you collaborate effectively and involve the right people at the right time.
How to choose the right approach for a project is a large topic in itself. In this situation, your main goal will be to understand the approach and help make it effective for the business stakeholders and your users. Waterfall Approach A waterfall approach Figure 4. For example, the design phase does not begin in earnest until requirements have been approved by business stakeholders, who sign off on one or more requirements documents at the end of the define phase.
Many methodologies follow a more fluid approach, with some steps happening alongside each other; for example, versions of the website could be released on a rapid, iterative schedule using an agile or rapid development approach Figure 4.
An agile approach generally has a greater focus on rapid collaboration and a reduced focus on detailed documentation and formal sign-off. Working this way allows a very high degree of collaboration, which reduces the need for heavy documentation between the stages of design, development, and testing. A team member can pose a question, come to the answer together with other team members during a quick whiteboarding session, and implement a solution without the delay of detailed documentation and approval.
Iterations are draft versions of a particular site or application and may also be called sprints. How do you go from a waterfall approach which favors detailed documentation and sign off, taking weeks or months per phase , to an agile pproach 75 approach which favors conversations and quick decision making over the course of days or weeks and still make time for design thinking and user research?
Iterations of the product are not seen as simply working versions of the product, but as the presentation of a hypothesis that can be tested with users.
The goal is to learn as quickly as possible, by validating design decisions with customers and incorporating the subsequent changes that will help the team learn the next important lesson. A Lean UX approach builds on this direction with its customer inclusion, its reduction of waste in the process, and its definition of product iterations as experiments. Entrepreneurs can find out how experimentation and a focus on learning can help startup teams in the face of uncertainty, in The Lean Startup by Eric Ries Crown business, Lean processes prioritize the building of a testable iteration of the product as quickly as possible, in order to test assumptions that the team is making about how users will react to the product.
Tests fail or succeed based on qualitative user feedback during research, and on quantitative measures that are put in place to track success. These measures should pull from actual user behaviorï¿½for example, the number of registrations for a site, the number of products purchased, and so on.
Care should be taken that the measures put in place really test the assumptions of that iteration. Incorporate that learning into your decisions on what goes into the next build, and complete the loop Figure 4. The process is meant to increase the speed by which teams cycle through the loop, maximizing learning and allowing for quicker adjustments in strategy based on customer response. In a lean process, the focus is on testing a hypothesis about user behavior, rather than building a fully functioning product at each iteration.
But many UX designers use deliverablesï¿½documentation like detailed wireframesï¿½in order to communicate design recommendations to their teams. Does Lean UX skip this step? The trick to getting to a level of efficiency with it is to build a shared understanding across your entire cross-functional team.
When they have a clear sense of that, they need less documentation in order loop with a minimum amount of effort and the least amount of development time. This is consistent with the overall agile approach. It assumes a leadership quality to the UX role on the team.
The Lean UX process forces you to constantly communicate out to the team and solicit feedback from them. Is there anything the team should have from the beginning to ensure a Lean UX approach is successful? There needs to be a freedom to fail in the organization. If people feel they have to get it right the first time, right out of the gate, than the whole process fails.
The idea is to figure out what those wrong answers are as quickly as possible and minimize the wasted effort going down those paths. At most companies and within most consulting engagements, however, teams rarely follow a pure agile approach.
In part, this is because companies often have distributed teams and remote workers, which makes it difficult to maintain the high degree of collaboration needed to take best advantage of the pure agile approach. However, a greater prevalence of virtual collaboration tools and digital sketching tools makes this distributed agile approach increasingly possible, as long as teams commit to clear communication, high availability, and effective decision-making.
For example, a project may follow a waterfall model but include an overlap in phases so that there are key collaboration points from team to team.
This allows potential changes to surface earlier in each phase. This may also include an early release such as a beta release to a particular user group with a shorter iteration cycle. Feedback from that release can then be incorporated before the full deployment of the new site. Figure 4. Tools such as wireframes Chapter 12 and prototypes Chapter 13 can allow you to gather feedback on quick iterations of ideas, before a lot of development time has been put in.
This book loosely follows a modified waterfall approach like the one shown in Figure 4. However, many of the topics covered here will apply to your project regardless of the specifics of your approach, because the basic activities behind themï¿½defining and designing, for exampleï¿½are still necessary.
How Does the Approach Affect Me? For example, an agile approach requires very close collaboration. A waterfall approach may involve individual work most of the time, with touchpoints once or several times per week. However, you may also have some formal sign-off documents when using an agile approachï¿½for example, to capture information at major decision points, such as when a particular iteration is prepared for full release and deployment.
The approach will determine what different audiences need to provide at various points in the project, including approvals from stakeholders at sign-off points and feedback from potential users during a beta release.
There may already be lists of features provided by some prominent members of the company your business stakeholders , along with their opinions about which features are most important. Carolyn Chandler 83 C hapter 4 covered fuzzy objectives and discussed some ways you can help clarify them for yourself and the project team. These may be ideas from stakeholders, user complaints, or user requests. Requirements are statements defining what the site or application needs to do.
For example, is it to cut down on the number of calls to customer support? If not, new requirements will need to be captured for the tracking features, or the company may need to partner with a third party. What kind of information should be included in the tracking details? For example, does the site have to provide an updated estimate for delivery time? Asking these sorts of questions will help you coalesce fuzzy ideas into solid requirements.
It will also make it apparent that the same statement can mean different things to different people. Another stakeholder may think the company needs to push the envelope on package tracking and invest in developing the ability for customers to track packages via GPs, seeing the exact location in real time using an online map.
That leads to unhappy stakeholders and, if the feature needs to be redesigned, lost time and money. Getting to a consolidated list of project requirements involves the following steps: 1. Gather needs and ideas from business stakeholders as well as current and potential users. Coalesce ideas into requirements Figure 5.
Prioritize requirements based on project objectives. Then, use project objectives to focus prioritization efforts and create a consolidated list of project requirements. You can learn a great deal about the current state through stakeholder interviews more on this in a few pages. You can also gain a lot of understanding on your own, and this can serve as a strong base for stakeholder interviews and user research efforts.
A great way to gain background information and generate ideas that could become requirements is to conduct a heuristic analysis. By Any Other Nameï¿½ The word heuristic means a rule of thumb or best practice.
A heuristic analysis has come to mean a review of a product against a set of rules heuristics for usable design, usually conducted by a uX designer. You may also hear this technique called a heuristic evaluation, expert review, or some combination of these terms. Heuristic Analysis A heuristic analysis is a technique you can use to evaluate the usability of an existing design, based on best practices within the user experience field.
You can conduct such an analysis on the current site at the beginning of a redesign project or analyze competing sites to understand opportunities for offering a better user experience than other companies. The result is a document describing the strengths and weaknesses of the site, including recommendations for improvement.
The system should always keep users informed about what is going on through appropriate feedback within reasonable time. There are many situations on a site where this heuristic may not be followed. The system has not informed the user that the file is in the process of being downloaded, even though the download has started. This can lead to multiple downloadsï¿½potentially causing problems for both the performance of the site and the user, who now has multiple downloads in progress without realizing it.
During the heuristic analysis, you can note this as a problem area, describe it, and rate its impact. You may also share an idea that might address the problem, which could be added to the requirements list. Why Conduct a Heuristic Analysis? Conducting this kind of analysis is a relatively quick and inexpensive way of obtaining feedback on a design.
A heuristic analysis can provide a general understanding of the design quality and help identify any potential design issues. The analysis does, however, give the team a good handle on likely areas of concern.
The specific heuristics you use may vary from project to project, but the process for conducting the analysis will generally remain the same: 1. Gather product and project background knowledge. Your analysis will be different for a site built for general consumers than a site built for pharmacists, for example. If you need help with the last one, visiting a variety of competitive sites or applications can help you understand the most common terminology and areas of interest.
Choose the heuristics to use. There are many heuristics out there to reference. Be sure to keep your list to a manageable size say, 8 to 12 ; too many heuristics can make the technique unwieldy for you and your readers.
Walk through prioritized areas of the site, identifying areas where the heuristics are followed well or missed. Each observation you make should have the following information: The general observation. A short statement summing up the finding. Ideally these will be numbered so that you can reference them quickly as you walk people through the report. A short description. A paragraph or two describing the context of the observationï¿½for example, the point in a particular process where you noticed a problem.
An impact ranking. These are next steps or ideas that you share, which may serve as a remedy to the problem you encountered. Figure 5. Observation 4 The search function does not appear to be bringing back all possible results. Searches using a name in a relatively new post, featuring a less commonly covered topic, occasionally returned no results. It also appears that primary search returns link to new stories only, not videos. Recommendations 1. Ensure newly added content is indexed and searchable before, or very shortly after, being publicly available.
Consider surfacing related content when search results are brought backï¿½for example, stories in similar categories or with similar tagsï¿½so users who are exploring have more threads to follow. Consider universal search that presents results organized by category. Use search term logs to understand commonly searched items. This may also provide insight into items that users are having trouble finding. Present your findings to the project team and primary stakeholders.
Walk them through your observations and recommendations. Discuss why you gave the ratings you did. This is also a great time to have a prepared recommendation on how to validate your findings, using one of the techniques discussed in Chapter 6. One of the most common mistakes made on a project is to seize on a feature and call it a requirement without first understanding the problem and the expectations around a solution.
Gathering ideasï¿½and coalescing them into requirementsï¿½can take quite a bit of time. Churn is time wasted in extra meetings and work iterations caused by lack of communication and involvement.
These are different from the more productive work iterations that are part of designing and testing valid solutions in an effort to find the best one. Here are some steps for an efficient process: 1. Outline roles and responsibilities. Gather the right stakeholders, in the right groups, to ensure time is used in the best way during requirements-focused interviews or meetings. Create a plan for the meetings, including topics to be covered and questions to be asked during meetings.
Jared M. Is there a book that get you most of the way there? There is now. Carolyn and Russ have laid a solid foundation for planning and managing design projects. This is an essential handbook for anyone mired in the competing methodologies, the endless meetings, and all the moving parts of user experience design.
Shiny, Brand New Second Edition! Buy at Amazon! Downloads from the Book Get bonus materials and examples to download, including a contract examples, personas, and more.
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A great all-rounder. Russ and Carolyn have collected up sage wisdom previously only known to the most experienced UX project leaders and codified it for all to see. Now you can learn the secrets necessary to running great user experience projects. Jared M. Shiny, Brand New Second Edition! Buy at Amazon! Downloads from the Book Get bonus materials and examples to download, including a contract examples, personas, and more.
Go Get 'Em! The book covers modelling as well as innovative design concepts, with a special emphasis on user-centered design, and design for specific populations, particularly the elderly. Virtual reality, digital environments, heuristic evaluation and forms of device interface feedback of e. Book excerpt: Learn the basic principles of modular design, and then put them in action to create sites that are easy to use, look great, and can be adapted within the context of your business needs.
Along the way, you'll learn the scientific approach to devising a sound and scalable design strategy, followed by establishing a basic foundation using various criteria relevant to that type of site. As each chapter progresses, you'll add new concepts appropriate for the project type. Modular web and app design isn't just for so-called "creatives. This approach makes the design decision making process for businesses much easier and easier to live with.
And modular design is a powerful tool for software designers to replicate effective successful designs across a spectrum of needs. What You'll Learn: Examine the design process in a modular way Adapt your HTML code to create different types of applications Establish your own modular framework for your specific site's goals Design for scale Develop a strong foundation skeleton for design Who This Book Is For: User Experience Designers, User Interface Designers, Information Architects, Developers with an interest in design, Developers who want to create their own design frameworks.
Would you like to be more competitive on the market and achieve business success more easily? If so, then this is the perfect guide for you! By following this guide, you will gain the necessary knowledge and skills in intuitive design and user-friendly experience. A lot of people strive to learn it, but not many succeed. This book will help you in surrounding yourself with much of their reality as you can and help you craft the "user voice" into stories everyone has in mind.
Learn the latest website development tools, techniques, and best practices. Web Design Demystified provides the hands-on help you need to get started. Written in a step-by-step format, this practical guide begins by covering website planning and designing for screens. Get tips for testing and going live as well as information on e-mail design and search engine optimization.
Clear examples and concise explanations make it easy to understand the material, and end-of-chapter quizzes and a final exam help reinforce key concepts. It's a no-brainer! This book is a complete guide to UX design for beginners.
It is very suitable for UX project management, you learn the essential methods of each step strategy, discovery, ideation, iteration.
The book develops techniques and concepts to know: research techniques, sorting cards, personas, experience maps, brainstorming, tests. The book is clear and well organized. For the junior profiles, the book allows to pose all the basic concepts of the profession.
For senior profiles, it perfectly synthesizes concepts that are sometimes difficult to explain, which allows us to perfect our argument to evangelize UX in companies. Book excerpt: A clear and focused guide to creating useful user experience documentation As web sites and applications become richer and more complex, the user experience UX becomes critical to their success. This indispensible and full-color book provides practical guidance on this growing field and shares valuable UX advice that you can put into practice immediately on your own projects.
The authors examine why UX is gaining so much interest from web designers, graduates, and career changers and looks at the new UX tools and ideas that can help you do your job better. In addition, you'll benefit from the unique insight the authors provide from their experiences of working with some of the world's best-known companies, learning how to take ideas from business requirements, user research, and documentation to create and develop your UX vision.
Explains how to create documentation that clearly communicates the vision for the UX design and the blueprint for how it's going to be developed Provides practical guidance that you can put to work right away on their own projects Looks at the new UX tools and ideas that are born every day, aimed at helping you do your job better and more efficiently Covers a variety of topics including user journeys, task models, funnel diagrams, content audits, sitemaps, wireframes, interactive prototypes, and more Communicating the User Experience is an ideal resource for getting started with creating UX documentation.
Then read on This eBook shares expert analysis of the stages involved in getting ready for a UX design. Contrary to the opinion of people that it takes the intelligence as high as that of Einstein's to fully comprehend something as defined as UX design, this book offers to erase that mindset. There are step by step guides that will allow you to navigate all that are required for you to learn to start a successful UX career.
What makes the eBook spicier are the tips and all the insights necessary to conduct every stage of the UX implementation processes. You won't be left alone on the road to UX design; as you now have a companion - the eBook. Some of the valuable information you will get in this manual include: Why UX? Does it really matter? Project environment where UX designs can be found UX Design processes and documentation Principles to move your product to the next stage Let Your Processes Be Objective Defining your products before getting into the actual design Project definition?
Does it even matter? The book seeks to expand the concept of traditional usability to a broader notion of user experience; to provide a hands-on, practical guide to best practices and established principles in a UX lifecycle; and to describe a pragmatic process for managing the overall development effort.
The book provides an iterative and evaluation-centered UX lifecycle template, called the Wheel, for interaction design. Key concepts discussed include contextual inquiry and analysis; extracting interaction design requirements; constructing design-informing models; design production; UX goals, metrics, and targets; prototyping; UX evaluation; the interaction cycle and the user action framework; and UX design guidelines.
WebMore About A Project Guide to UX Design In the second edition, youï¿½ll learn to: Recognize the various roles in UX design, identify stakeholders, and enlist their support . A Project Guide to UX Design: For user experience designers in the field or in the making, Second Edition by Released March Publisher (s): New Riders ISBN: Read it now on the Oï¿½Reilly learning platform with a day free trial. WebA Project Guide to UX Design 2nd Edition - Free ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online for free. Download as PDF, TXT or read online .