Digital interactions are one of the most powerful forms of engagement today. You’d be hard-pressed today to find a brand that isn’t using a digital platform for a wider audience. As brands gear towards leveraging digital to reach customers today, creating above the ordinary experiences that deeply connect with customers is essential. Knowing the importance of above par brand experiences, DODO prioritizes UX (User-Experience Design and UI (User Interface Design) as we help companies design solutions for their customers.
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At this stage, we think about the project from a macro level. The key is to understand and align on clients’ expectations and get clarity on deliverables. We are very mindful of every stage of the design process. The bedrock of building a scalable and functional product is to ask questions with the aim of getting a deep understanding of a business, the idea behind the product and, very important, user needs. Once we get the clarity, we typically kick off with a meeting with the product design team, this mainly consists of a design researcher/design strategist, visual designer, developer, product manager, and project manager – it’s a whole team! Churning out visually appealing designs is an integral part of good product design but ensuring that the client’s business goals are met through the solution we provide is just as important.
Some Steps within the Process
1. Design Research
This is a huge part of the process as it helps us uncover user needs, goals and expectations, aligning our final solution to clients’ business goals. Often, clients fail to see the relevance of Design Research, but at DODO we carefully present this option and help our clients see the value in it. The reward that comes with investing in Design Research is usually not clear from the get-go but later becomes evident after building a product that actually meets the needs of our clients’ users. As part of the process involved in Design Research, we undergo several research activities, one of which is the commonly known user interviews, to get the views of potential users. This helps to clear some assumptions and better understand customer needs. It is easy to be thrilled at how beautiful a product or a design is but with Design Research we are always able to deliver an intuitive and simple product that delivers on user needs and answer to business goals.
Also, check out: What Design Research is, and How it Can Benefit your Company
2. Empathy Mapping
This activity is incredibly valuable and is often carried out with the Empathy Map, a tool we use to understand the users we are designing for on a deeper level with the goal to better prioritize their needs. Empathy Maps are easily digestible with illustrations that projects user attitudes and behaviors. It reflects our understanding of the users of the product we are designing for, protects our team from bias and assumptions. We keep our empathy maps alive throughout the course of a UX/UI project as a guide.
3. User Personas
Personas are important for creating realistic representations of the audience we are designing for. These representations are usually based on qualitative and some quantitative data from our user research. Personas tell who our audience is, what motivates them and their problems. With Personas, we are able to incorporate key elements each type of user needs so we don’t create a product that doesn’t serve the users we initially set out to design for.
According to the Interaction Design Foundation, 2018 - This is where visualizing how a user will use a product or service will help generate design ideas. A fundamental point to bear in mind is that user scenarios do not represent all possible users. Instead, they typically account for only the most common users or user motivations. A storyboard imagines all kinds of situations where the product will be used and by who, with a sequence of actions that are useful for creating prototypes and also informs the functions to be built based on the needs of users in different scenarios.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a prototype is worth a thousand meetings. - IDEO
We love the way IDEO described prototyping - Many of us may recall the art of prototyping from our early childhood where we created mock-ups of real-world objects with the simplest of materials such as paper, card, and modeling clay or just about anything else we could get our hands-on. There is not much difference between these types of prototypes and the early rough prototypes we may develop at the earlier phases of testing out ideas. We understand the place of managing resources so we don’t venture into designing and creating products without testing out our ideas. This the best stage to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Our prototypes are usually real enough to get authentic responses when tested with users.
6. Low and Hi-Fidelity Designs
With the use of tools like Sketch, Figma, Axure, Adobe XD, Balsamiq we create Low Fidelity design, also known as wireframes. Wireframes are great for understanding user flows (or user journeys through the product), the logic of the flows and information architecture, think of it as the skeleton of a product while Hi-Fidelity designs represent the finished product. With Hi-Fidelity design, we help clients view and appreciate the product as a whole - from seemingly basic things like colors to more important factors such as functionality.
Managing Clients’ Project
1. Effective Communication
Another major recipe for developing a great UX/UI product is effective communication and with the different communication tools at our disposal, we have set up a smooth communication channel that is easy and convenient for our clients. We understand that nothing beats clear and effective communication when working on a project. Over time, we have been able to deliver amazing products to our clients with no hassle. A lot goes into building a product, one of which is a great client relationship, our team at DODO is always ready to go all out to ensure clients enjoy the process of working with us.
2. Collaborative Process
In design, collaboration is key. Not only do we collaborate within the diverse minds at DODO, we also enjoy collaborating with our clients, this is because as designers we know that one of the tactics of creating successful end products in the design process is to involve different mindsets, and which is better to engage with than the people that understand their business the most - the clients. We find that partnering with our clients in our quest to understand their users better, as well as their brand and business goals allows us to create end solutions that are aesthetically pleasing, have great user experience and meet those business goals.
We don’t start a project without setting clear expectations so each party knows what to expect and when. It’s easy to set deadlines but while DODO will do everything possible to ensure that all expectations are met at the set time, we also ask that clients return the same favor by working closely with us. A regular sync up with clients helps us get early feedback from them so as to adjust our course and sail effortlessly to meet set deadlines. It clears out any confusion and brings more clarity to our work process. Stakeholders (designers, developers, the product manager, and project manager) also have a say on what timeline is feasible for a UX UI project, if there are development constraints, platform issues, etc. We listen to all the humans at DODO to get an awesome outcome for our UX/UI projects.
Check out one of our favorite tools for UX UI projects - Diverge-Converge Tool
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