I’ve found through recent projects that I’ve got a method of working that works best for me. I’ve developed and tailored this through the projects that I’ve been doing over the past year. During the UXD projects I’ve been able to use the method as a continuous approach, which keeps evolving the project that I’m creating. I’ve found that this really helps to create an end-product that’s tailored to the user and meets the requirements set out the start. I think reiteration and user research/feedback plays a big part in this.
Ideas are one of the most important part of the project, it’s during this period that I get as many ideas out as possible. I’ve done things such as IBM’s Design Thinking to help me generate a lot of ideas, I’ll do wire framing, testing basic interaction as well as user research. I just enjoy getting as much information as possible and then going through it all.
This was the case during my UXD project, where I got a lot of information from TripAdvisor, as well as conducting my own User Research and then going through and completing a thematic analysis on all of the information. This allowed me to generate my own principles for success that I decided I wanted to develop my prototype around, which would help me tailor my design for the users of the museum. I would love to do this for every project, as I really think its key to setting off on the right foot.
I think that a large part of what feeds the ideas process is user research, I believe that this is key to the success of the product and that without this initial user input, it’s difficult to get a good sense of the direction to head in, it’s just going to be guess work.
I'd say one of the most important things I've learned over the course has been that you can never do too much testing, particularly with the user.
Designing the product is also key to success. Before I jump into development (as much as I want to) I understand the importance of good design. During the design phase, I’ll normally want to start off with a competitor analysis task so I can see the good and bad from what others have done. This is a great way of learning from previous experience and also getting a good feel of how people will react to different things.
The next thing I’d do is an advancement on the brief ideas I created during my ideas phase. This might see me sketch up a lot more ideas, storyboard ideas, try some paper-prototyping or different methods of prototyping such as Adobe XD. This allows me to play around with a lot of different ideas so that when I go into development, it can be as smooth as possible as I’ll know my favourite design.
I’d also use this stage to use the prototyping to see what people think about the interaction/designs that I’m creating. I found this very useful during the Roman Hairstyles project that I carried out. I create a paper prototype, showing the interaction of the final project that I was going to create, and asked stakeholders within the project, what they thought so far. This way I was able to gain meaningful responses from just a basic version of something that I’d created.
During development, it’s normally a case of building the designs that I’ve planned. The biggest issues that I’ll face during development are items that I want to implement, yet for some reason or other, I can’t now. I’ll normally have to pick a work around and make sure that this fits the design and matches the style of the rest of the product that I have designed.
I found that during the Interactive Media Group Project module that I enjoy working in an AGILE way, this meant that we were working in a way that saw us constantly develop the project we were creating. We worked to make sure that we achieved everything that we set out to. We always had a deliverable version of the project ready, and via weekly sprints, really improved our project.
Working in an AGILE way meant that we were extremely focused on our goals every week. The way that we were working meant that everyone could work independently on the work we were doing, and would update the rest of the team during the bi-weekly meetings. One thing we really had to focus on with this though, was scope creep. I wanted to make sure that we delivered a well-polished project, as opposed to one that although may contain loads of different features, wasn’t polished and contained bugs.