What is UX Design?
User experience design or UX design is literally the backbone of product development. It gives us the idea and the planning of how to start, route maps and the data about the project we do.
User experience (UX) design is the process by which design teams create products that provide users with meaningful and relevant experiences.
UX design encompasses the entire process of acquiring and integrating a product, including branding, design, usability, and function.
Designing an experience entails not only making the software easy to use, but also designing other product-related experiences such as the marketing campaign, packaging, and after-sales support.
Most importantly, UX design is concerned with providing solutions to problems and needs.
What is UX Research ?
UX (user experience) research is the methodical study of target users and their requirements in effort to incorporate reality and observations into design processes.
UX researchers use a variety of methodologies to identify problems and design possibilities.
In doing so, they reveal valuable information which may be utilized during the creative process.
After all, no one will use a product that is useless.
As I’m a person who doesn’t have much experience in the field of UI/UX Design, This UX design and research will give us an overall view of the project or the product we develop and will help to improve my final year project.
“Rule of thumb for UX: More options, more problems.”
About my project
My project is all about a job-finding website. I personally selected this topic because I had gone through hard times as an international student and had to survive here, So I decided to build a website that helps students to find their part-time job with ease.
There are many Job-finding websites nowadays like Linkedin, Indeed, MonsterJobs etc. But the main difference between them and our website is that it is mainly focused on part-time jobs for the students and doesn’t have any multiple forums or data to be filled in like the others. The details about the job and the contact number should be visible to all. A student or the user can directly contact the employee without any problems.
I thought it was an easy process to find the target and research the project but after Steph’s and Chris’s workshop section I got a clear idea about “how to do UX research, collect data and the pain points of the project”. It helped me to realize that UX research is the basis of building a website or application and helps to overcome competitors in the same field. Choosing an appropriate research methodology is one of the first things that I have to do for starting my project. After the workshop section, As my website has a wide range of target audiences I decided to break down the targets to a minimum level cause I understand from their lectures that It’s not an easy task, It needs time and dedication. As I have a limited period of time, I have to focus on a minimum target audience.
So the next task for me is to find the best way or methodology for the research process, The best research will lead to a better website instead of wasting time collecting unnecessary data and building components that will increase my pain points also.
Objectives of the research.
I have to make my website one of the best among the competitors. For that, I have to find some ways.
- The website should contain a unique feature.
- The accessibility of the website.
- Ease of use
- User-friendly design and features
For focusing on all these factors, I have to give the first priority to UX research and its methodology.
The best methodology
User research is concerned with determining the needs, motivations, behaviours, barriers, and triggers of users, as well as how they make decisions.
There are plenty of research methods and ways that we can do research. But we have to go with the best and most used one.
At the start of a new research phase, we can collect two types of data: quantitative and qualitative.
The Quantitative and Qualitative method is one of the most commonly used methods by researchers throughout time.
Quantitative research is the process of gathering and analyzing data’, measurable data from different types of user testing is defined as quantitative user research. Mainly the quantitative research method is done on a product, which will help us to know how our product will hit the competitors and what all are the differences from them etc. This process can be done at the very beginning of the project or at the very end of it. There are lots of instruments that provide quantitative values like Google Analytics etc… But the problem here we are facing is that we need a final or demo product or website to produce this kind of numerical value. These technical instruments will also provide some average values like web traffic and will also help in the promotion strategies as well.
Qualitative research method is the process of gathering or collecting descriptive data (non-numerical). Quantitative research is done by using person-to-person interviews or data from a group for learning about people’s social realities, including their attitudes, beliefs, and motivation. This research mainly includes in-depth interviews, focusing on groups or fetching observations that help us to collect the data from the users. Implementing this research method to my project will definitely help us to find out what kind of students or users are mainly searching for jobs and what kind of jobs they are seeking. It may also help me to fetch out the priorities and behavior of our users.
The second research method that I can implement in my project is behavioral and attitudinal. This is also one of the famous research methods that almost all researchers are using to find the pain points, user opinions and difficulties.
Attitude research relies on self-reported data.
This means that they reflect the stated beliefs, perceptions, and expectations of people.
Interviews, surveys, focus groups, and card sorts fall into this category because they all ask study participants to tell researchers what they think. Despite these warnings, attitudinal research methods can still be useful for uncovering a participant’s mental model, which can then be used to shape a design to better meet user expectations
A one-on-one questionnaire with a potential user about your proposed product is one example of an attitudinal research method.
The following are a few examples of interview questions:
- What are your thoughts on this product or service?
- What will be the job that you seek?
- What will be your first concern when you search for a job?
- How often do you search for a job?
By conducting this kind of interview or questionnaire, I can get more opinions and improve my project.
Behavioral research approaches seek to quantify what users actually do, providing quantitative data on how users interact with the product or service under concern.
This research should be done with the real product that the product is given to the users to interact with and see how they use it. Eye tracking, A/B tests, tree tests, first-click tests, and user analytics are examples of research methodologies that investigate a user’s real behaviors.
Monitoring a user interacting with our product through open or closed scenario activities while also learning from their behavior is an example of behavioral research. It is typical for a subject to react differently than they would say in an interview.
The next method of research is Context of use.
This is also a research method that helps us to know when, why and how our unique feature will impact the users, helps us to improve the feature and this process also helps to collect plenty of quantitative data and metrics.
Implementing UXD in the project
I have to choose a simple design process for my project, At first, I had gone through plenty of principles and theories on the internet but after Chris’s section about User Experience Design, He talked about the Double Diamond process which is one of the simplest processes.
Double Diamond design model
The Double Diamond design model is a method that designers may use to help them with their creative processes.
Following a lengthy study involving business behemoths such as Microsoft, Starbucks, Sony, and LEGO, the British Design Council declared it official.
Which mainly contains 4 fields Discover, Define, Develop, and Deliver. These are the four pillars in the Double Diamond process.
Discovery: It is like understanding the issues that occurred and rectifying them. This needs person-to-person talks or conversations to resolve or find the solution, In our project, There are lots of issues like what people need to be focused on more and what type of jobs are more searched and all.
Define: This is all about gathering data from the discovery phase and defining the challenges.
Develop: It is like providing a well-satisfied answer to the defined questions and having a discussion with fellow users and other colleagues about how to develop.
Deliver: This is the final process in the Double Diamond model, This process contains the testing, user feasibility tests, and improving the product.
This Double diamond model helps me to understand the problems that I can face during the development of this project and helps to improve the features of the project.
Persona helps the designer empathize with the user by understanding their user behaviours, goals and problems. Personas are usually created utilizing data gathered from user interviews or surveys. This user persona gives us information like what a user needs and what the user will usually go for, in our project. In this project, most of the personas will be aimed at job-seeking ones.
It gives a clear depiction of the user behavior like what he likes and dislikes to have in our project.
An empathy map is an effortless, edible visual that depicts the user needs and behaviours. It is vital in helping the designer understand their users better.
It may have several interview sections also to understand the user. It also helps us to know what really the user feels and understand about our product.
User Journey map
A journey map is a visualization of the process that a person goes through in order to accomplish a goal. It helps in understanding the user behaviour patterns and frustrations. This is an amazing process that helps us to get opinions from a user’s point of view. It also helps us in the website optimization part also. It will be included with the personas, empathy map, touch-points and any other means that help to interact with the user.
Ideation and Sketching
Ideation is the process of bringing new ideas, innovations, and thoughts on the problem and solutions we are trying to solve. We will keep in mind all the pain points, all questions, and user experiences. It’s like an open-minded and creative process with brainstorming sections or some discussions.
Sketching is a rough draw with pen and paper which focuses on generating, communicating and refining ideas.
Prototyping is a process where we change all the sketches to digital visualization. It is also a demo sample of our final product to test the processes and the concept. It is an experimental process.
Prototyping can be given to users for the testing or experience of the first model or early sample of the real product So that they can give feedback and changes that we can make in the coming developments. It also saves time by finding the errors in the early stages rather than finding them in the final steps. Moreover, it helps us find the accessibility of the users or the challenges in responsiveness.
Testing is like the final stage in user experience design. In this process, we will go through all the processes that we have done and collect all the data that has been provided in different phases. The prototype will be provided to different users or Artificial Intelligence based testing environments to test various assets of our prototype. It tests the user flow and user experience in different aspects. These also improve our project insight.
“Make it simple, but significant.”
The workshop on these topics really helped to select the best and appropriate methods to work on the UX research and UX Design of my project. Implementing all these methods and everything will help to improve and give more ideas to my project.
How to choose the right research method : https://uxdesign.cc/the-right-way-of-doing-user-research-569bf7f35b36
Types of User Research Methods https://www.userinterviews.com/ux-research-field-guide-chapter/user-research-types
Quantitative and Qualitative analysis : https://www.interaction-design.org/literature/topics/quantitative-research
Empathy Map :https://www.nngroup.com/articles/empathy-mapping/
Steph’s Talk : https://vimeo.com/channels/cssday/342584579
Vectors : https://www.freepik.com/author/stories