As a UX Designer, I focus on the overall experience of the user with the product.
Creating a positive user experience begins with gaining knowledge about the user's natural task flow. This provides a logical flow from one step to the next. I implement HCI practices and procedures in this role.
As a UI Designer, I narrow in on the work of the UX Designer, focusing on how the product is laid out. Designing systems to maximize the user experience is accomplished by paying attention to the small details of how the user's hand and eye will interact with the product on different devices. My knowledge of coding is extremely beneficial in this position.
As a Visual Designer, I continue to enhance the process that the UX and UI Designer have accomplished. In this role, I create a real world visualization of the system. I pay close attention to typography, pixel perfect placement, icon and image creation.
In this role my skills in Graphic Design, Video and Photography are heavily used. Motion Graphics are incorporated to stimulate the user's interest and assist with gamification learning techniques. Iconology is an important feature that assists creating the path for the user to follow.
Combined these with my coding skills knowledge, I am able to create visualizations that will assist the product development team, in taking a flat design and recreate it into a coded interactive product.
The systems should compliment, not compete with the user. In our era of information overload, I am able to take complex and large amount of information and structure it so that the user obtains the information desired in an visually efficient manner.
Being skilled in analysis and data visualization allows me to display the content in the proper context that will benefit the user. This process incorporates understanding data the user is wanting to access and incorporating both UX, CX and UI principles to give the user control over accessing this information.
By understanding the user, optimal user experiences can be created. The user of a product is not only the consumer, but also involves all those who will be interacting with the product and user in customer service and other supporting roles.
My skills in HCI research and techniques allows me to define the user, based upon facts, not fiction. The depth of my knowledge throughout the four phases of product development, allows me to establish a foundational structure in the Discovery Phase, that will help to expedite processes in the Strategy, Design and Execution phases through duplicable processes.
Data Visualization is an extension to the Information Architecture work flow design. Working collaboratively with the data analyst team to provide the user an optimal experience in understanding complex data, I structure systems based upon UX, UI and CX methodology practices.
Data Visualization is a specialty that combines both left and right brain processes. Complex data is broken down to provide the user an interactive experience while gaining insight to the information that is presented. UX, UI and CX are all integrated in ensuring that the user's experience is optimal and translates into a positive emotional connection with the company.
The Discovery Phase is the initial phase of a project's development cycle. Research is an essential part of this phases. In this phase research is done to obtain knowledge of the competition, the target audience, design styles, latest trends and marketing. This provides facts, in which to engage a strategy for design and execution.
User Centered Design, is never about personal opinions. All decisions that are made in the design are based upon the research and facts obtained. This ensures that the user is placed in the prominent position in the decision making process. CX or Customer Experience, is an important part of this research phase. User Experience is the relationship between the user and the product. This relationship translates into Customer Experience. CX is the emotional transition that transfers the user's feelings about a product to the relationship with the company.
This emotional connection between the user, product and company is the determining factor between a returning consumer or a one time consumer of a product or service. Consumer loyalty is driven by UX and CX.
The Strategy Phase involves the data obtained in the Discovery Phase. This data will provide real world information of the target audience. One of the first things that will be created in this phase, is the user persona. The Persona is never fiction based. It isn't something that is made up out of thin air. It is important to acknowledge that anyone who will be engaged with the product or service is a user and should be addressed in the persona creation through Use Case process charts.
Often times, we fail to take into consideration the support staff that will be assisting the user in ensuring a positive user experience. The user may only have access to the front end, but the support staff must be considered for the back end systems that they will be engaged with to ensure a positive front end user experience.
Several User Persona with various Use Cases, will help the team to maintain the user centered focus throughout the project cycle. Based upon the data gathered in the Discovery Phase, the persona is created. Not only should the team know who their competition is, but why the users are choosing their competition's product or service over the companies. If done correctly, demographic information will be a part of the research gathered to assist in defining the persona, with data driven accuracy. Presentation to other team members and stake holders should be conducted in the user's voice.
The creation of a user persona isn't about just making up an individual from the development team's perspective. Persona's are created based off of research of current and potential users.
Once I complete the user research on the product and competition, I design personas that provide context of who the target audience is and their natural task flow process. This assist developers in developing user friendly systems, based upon the Use Case processes.
The Design Phase is where all the visual design elements of the project is created. The visual design establishes a path for the user to follow, that meets their natural work flow process. Gathering data of the user's work flow process, is obtained in the Discovery Phase. When design is based upon facts, the elimination of personal preferences, conflicts amongst team members and lengthy discussion with stake holders are kept to a minimum. This allows for the project cycle to move ahead with minimal interruptions and delays.
Icons assist in providing the user an easy to recognize path to accomplish a task. Icons compliment the system and visual design. Icon placement is hierarchical. They are system prominent rather than visual prominent.
When I create icons, I begin with researching the system and the user's task flow. My primary objective is to develop a visual path that will enhance the user's experience.
The Execution Phase is the final phase of the project's life cycle. In this phase all the work in the Discovery, Strategy and Design Phases are executed to a tangible product or service for the user. Several teams are involved in the Execution Phase. Developers will be coding the system to ensure that the system matches the user's natural work flow process and runs efficiently and affectively. Marketing and Advertising will be executing the promotion of the new product and service.
It is in the Execution Phase, that all systems that the user will be engaged with, provides a positive user experience. This phase may include both front and back end systems that make up the product or service that the user will be engaged with. Pre-Launch Usability Testing should occur to ensure that the user's experience with have a positive emotional transition towards the company. This will assist in ensuring consumer loyalty and future product sales.
We've all been there, some systems take longer for a task to be accomplished, than if we had just done it by hand! There is a natural correlation between the frustration level of the user and the emotional connection with the company. When frustration level is high, trust and confidence in the company is low.
The primary purpose of a system, is to enhance the user's experience and provide them with the ability to accomplish their task more efficiently and affectively.
Real world system development, engages all four phases of the project's development cycle in a collaborative, user focused process. The level of success that occurs during the product launch is a direct reflection of the collaboration and detail that was taken during the four phases.