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  • Writer's picturePavel Fernandez

The Art and Science of Designing a Product.

Designing a product, like most cognitive processes, involves a delicate balance of intuition and empirical analysis. To ensure user-centered objectivity in the creation of designs, we rely on methodologies. However, it is important to take into account a few key aspects to make sense of the context in which the experiences we are creating will take place.





SUBJECTIVITY UX exists in the mind of the user, not in the object. Thus, UX is not identified as the object itself; instead, it is the user’s experience that occur as a result of interactions with the object.


These encompass objective but also subjective and emotional responses.


CONTRIBUTING AGENTS

Object. The tool driving the interaction.

User. The interacting person internal states: expectations, needs, motivations, predispositions, moods, etc.

Context. The situation in which the interaction occurs. Time, location, culture, atmosphere, human-presence, etc.

EXPERIENCES TYPES

Singular experiences is a result of an interaction with a touch-point, whereas the accumulated experience is the result of all singular experiences.

By realising each singular experience, designers can ensure a desired accumulated UX.


in a nutshell....

User eXperience refers to the singular and accumulated objective and subjective experiences that occur for users as a consequence of them interacting with an ‘object’ in a given context.

“The primary factor of your success lies in the fact that you keep your users at the centre of your design process. Is about people and how they understand and use things"



The Design Process

There is more than one way to deliver a design process that entails consistency and a reasonable confidence in our findings and decisions.

A simple way to organise this process may consider four fundamental stages: Research, Ideation, Planning and Execution.

UNDERSTAND

An intelligent answer to the wrong question won’t provide us with a successful or useful product.

First, understand which is the problem your solving, and which are the useful questions you should ask in the process of solving it. The problem statement defines any important constraints of the product/service.

Problem statements are made up of three elements:

  • The goals of the product or service.

  • The problem is addressing.

  • An explicit request for improvement that doesn't dictate a specific solution.


RESEARCH

Yes, by now you have already identified your target audience demographics, but is not just about knowing if your product will be appealing for your audience. When it comes to designing your solution you must also get under the skin on how your users will interact with your product or service.


UX research is the systematic study of target users and their requirements, to add realistic contexts and insights to design processes. UX researchers adopt various methods to uncover problems and design opportunities. Doing so, they reveal valuable information which can be fed into the design process.


DEFINE

The Design Process is a living entity and shall be 'designed' to better fit the specific challenges of each project. Multiple tools are available to successfully fulfil each of its phases. Selecting the right tools is fundamental to achieve a virtuous balance of efficacy and efficiency. Some of them below...

PERSONAS

As part of the discovery process, understanding the recipient of the message, service or product is key for validating strategies, journeys, content and to inform visual and user experience design. We define "personas" as a representation of different user groups characterising any relevant demographic, commercial and sociological elements relevant for the project.


EMPATHY MAPS Heuristic evaluation and interview empathy maps are created to understand and compare brands and/or services in the context of the market or user environment.

USER JOURNEYS These are a paradigm of user centre design. These interaction maps allow a granular definition of all points of interactions mapped for specific "personas" and track all relevant conditions such as engagement, objective, actions, exit points, recovery points, media, context and hierarchies.


If you which to know more about these tools, I'll soon be updating with some other key resources of the design process, such as wire flows, touch-points maps, content flows, site maps, sketching, wireframes, prototypes and heuristic analysis.

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