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What Is This Thing Called Design? The GV research sprint: a 4-day process for answering important startup questions. Field Guide to UX Research for Startups. Five Models for Making Sense of Complex Systems – Christina Wodtke. My new book on visual thinking is out! In one of the classes I teach at CCA, students were confused by mental models, conceptual models, concept maps, etc. I ended up drawing a taxonomy for models on the whiteboard, and it may help others.

This post is for them first, then you! Admittedly, there is no worldwide agreement on these terms, because humans make things and name them as they see fit, often without searching for previous work. UX Design (a.k.a. product design a.k.a. interaction design a.k.a. information architecture etc etc) has a tendency to name and rename things. Ambiguity is inevitable. I live in hope of a controlled vocabulary for digital design. Let’s start with this model of models by Scott Berinato, author of Good Charts. These five diagrams are particularly useful for understanding complex systems. This post will cover The first two diagrams are exploratory, i.e. for ordering your thinking. Mind maps From Rolf Faste’s MindMapping article Concept Maps. Validating Product Ideas. Amazingly, 198 out of the 200 enterprise product managers and startup founders interviewed for this book said they were keeping a list of product ideas they wanted to make a reality some day.

While keeping a wish list of solutions is a great thing to have, even more impressive is what only two startup founders were doing. These founders were keeping a list of problems they wanted to solve. They chose to first fall in love with a problem rather than a solution. Article Continues Below Focusing on learning how people solve a problem as IDEO did for Bank of America can lead to innovative solutions, or in this specific case, a successful service offering. IDEO designers and Bank of America employees observed people in Atlanta, Baltimore, and San Francisco. They discovered that many people in both the bank’s audience and the general public often rounded up their financial transactions for speed and convenience. Why Is This Question Important? When Should You Ask the Question?

All. Smile. The Evolution of UX Process Methodology. The 9 Rules of Design Research – Mule Design Studio. Lately, I’ve noticed a lot more ambient enthusiasm for research among both early stage start-ups and established organizations. Businesses have embraced the idea that meaningful innovation requires understanding their customers as humans with complex lives. This is fantastic. I’ve also been hearing quite a few of the same myths, misperceptions, and hedges repeated. So, in the interests of being helpful—because I do like to be helpful—here is a snackable listicle of simple correctives designed to share far and wide (I’ve been assured that research proves readers enjoy snackable listicles. And puppies.) 1. Get comfortable being uncomfortable “All I know is that I know nothing.” — Socrates We’ve all been brought up to value answers and fear questions. 2.

“If we only test bottle openers, we may never realize customers prefer screw-top bottles.” So, of course there is a rush to prototype and test the prototype. 3. Only after you have a goal will you know what you need to know. 4. 5. What Is User Experience Design? Overview, Tools And Resources. Advertisement Today, too many websites are still inaccessible. In our new book Inclusive Design Patterns, we explore how to craft flexible front-end design patterns and make future-proof and accessible interfaces without extra effort. Hardcover, 312 pages. Get the book now! Websites and Web applications have become progressively more complex as our industry’s technologies and methodologies advance.

But regardless of how much has changed in the production process, a website’s success still hinges on just one thing: how users perceive it. What Is User Experience? User experience (abbreviated as UX) is how a person feels when interfacing with a system. Those who work on UX (called UX designers) study and evaluate how users feel about a system, looking at such things as ease of use, perception of the value of the system, utility, efficiency in performing tasks and so forth. Further Reading on SmashingMag: Link UX designers also look at sub-systems and processes within a system. Start-Ups Link. Creating an Agile Road Map Using Story Mapping. We know that a prioritized backlog helps us understand what to do next, but sometimes it's difficult to grasp where we are and where we should go -- especially if we just dive into a big project that's been started, with hundreds of stories and/or issues already created.

To solve these situations, I have found it very useful to manage the road map and backlog with the help of a story map. A user story map arranges user stories into a useful model to help understand the functionality of the system, identify holes and omissions in your backlog, and effectively plan holistic releases that deliver value to users and business with each release (from Jeff Patton's The New User Story Backlog Is a Map).

Where to start? First we group the stories by application/theme/functionality and create the grid. Horizontally, we can find the title for each grouped functionality; vertically, the main stories/issues related to each group. Personally, I don’t have any restrictions as to what I have in the grid. How to create a User Story Map. User story mapping is becoming a popular technique through the efforts of Jeff Patton and others that allows you to add a second dimension to your backlog. Here are a few reasons you should consider using this technique: It allows you to see the big picture in your backlog.It gives you a better tool for making decisions about grooming and prioritizing your backlog.

It promotes silent brainstorming and a collaborative approach to generating your user stories.It encourages an iterative development approach where your early deliveries validate your architecture and solution.It is a great visual alternative to traditional project plans.It is a useful model for discussing and managing scope.Allows you to visualize dimensional planning and real options for your project/product. To create your own user story map: 1. 2. Depending on the size of your application it can take 3-10 minutes to get all the major tasks, but you can watch the body language to see when they are done. 5. 6. 7. Creating a lean, mean product requirements machine.

Summary: A product requirements document (PRD) defines the requirements of a particular product, including the product’s purpose, features, functionality, and behavior. It serves as a guide for business and technical teams to help build, launch, or market the product. Building a great product requires tons of research and comprehensive planning. But where do you start? Product managers often start with a product requirements document (PRD). A product requirements document defines the product you are about to build: It outlines the product's purpose, its features, functionalities, and behavior.

Next, you share the PRD with (and seek input from) stakeholders - business and technical teams who will help build, launch or market your product. Once all stakeholders are aligned, the PRD serves as a compass, providing clear direction toward a product's purpose while creating a shared understanding among business and technical teams. Gathering requirements in an agile world Want to give it a try? 1. User stories: a beginner's guide to acceptance criteria | Boost Blog. By courtney in Agile on September 22, 2010 Last week I described the bones of the user story in the first post of our introductory series on user stories. Briefly, a user story is a description of an objective a person should be able to achieve when using your website/application/software, written in the following format: As an [actor] I want [action] so that [achievement].

For example: As a Flickr member I want to be able to assign different privacy levels to my photos so I can control who I share which photos with. This post adds some flesh to the idea of user stories, in the shape of acceptance criteria. Where are the details? At first glance, it can seem like user stories don’t provide enough information to get a team moving from an idea to a product. Nearly 10 years ago, Ron Jeffries wrote about the Three C’s of the user story: For example: As a conference attendee, I want to be able to register online, so I can register quickly and cut down on paperwork.

Further reading. Write a Great User Story | Rally Help. What is a user story? A user story represents a small piece of business value that a team can deliver in an iteration. While traditional requirements (like use cases) try to be as detailed as possible, a user story is defined incrementally, in three stages: The brief description of the need The conversations that happen during backlog grooming and iteration planning to solidify the details The tests that confirm the story's satisfactory completion Well-formed stories will meet the criteria of Bill Wake's INVEST acronym: Why use user stories?

Keep yourself expressing business value Avoid introducing detail too early that would prevent design options and inappropriately lock developers into one solution Avoid the appearance of false completeness and clarity Get to small enough chunks that invite negotiation and movement in the backlog Leave the technical functions to the architect, developers, testers, and so on How do I write user stories? Examples: What size should a user story be? Too detailed. Use Case Examples -- Effective Samples and Tips. 10 Tips for Writing Good User Stories. User stories are probably the most popular agile technique to capture product functionality: Working with user stories is easy.

But telling effective stories can be hard. The following ten tips help you create good stories. 1 Users Come First As its name suggests, a user story describes how a customer or user employs the product; it is told from the user’s perspective. What’s more, user stories are particularly helpful to capture a specific functionality, such as, searching for a product or making a booking. If you don’t know who the users and customers are and why they would want to use the product, then you should not write any user stories. 2 Use Personas to Discover the Right Stories A great technique to capture your insights about the users and customers is working with personas. 3 Create Stories Collaboratively User stories are intended as a lightweight technique that allows you to move fast. 4 Keep your Stories Simple and Concise As <persona> , I want <what?

5 Start with Epics. Business Requirements vs. Functional Requirements - Enfocus Solutions Inc. Many analysts struggle with understanding the differences between business requirements and functional requirements. Some people even think they are the same, but I want to assure you that they are not. In this blog, I explain the differences. To be clear, in defining requirements, there are actually four types of requirements that should be defined: business requirements, stakeholder requirements, solution requirements, and transition requirements.

There are also two types of solution requirements: functional and nonfunctional. Business Requirements describe why the organization is undertaking the project. Problem StatementProject VisionProject Constraints (Budget, Schedule, and Resource)Business ObjectivesProject Scope Statements (Features)Business Process AnalysisStakeholder AnalysisIT Service Impact Analysis The results from the business process analysis, stakeholder analysis, and IT service impact analysis are also considered business requirements. [cta id=”7662″] 2018 Is the Year of the Intangibles – BRIGHT Magazine. Designing Better Design Documentation. 1. Adding a summary Let’s say, you’ve made a profound heuristic evaluation of client’s application and pointed out a hundred of usability issues.

As a result, you have a one-hundred-page report with screenshots and descriptions. Such a serious work might have taken you a week or two. And now imagine a person who is looking through your report for the first time, especially if this is a non-designer. Two weeks of documenting the issues in the client’s product — and your report rests in peace in “Read later” folder. See that on the picture above? Even 10 pages are a sufficient cause for creating a summary. This principle originates from the journalistic “inverted pyramid rule”, which suggests putting facts descendingly in the order of their significance. So, imagine this: you work on a design system that contains a lot of different components, and a textbox is one of them.

We, designers, tend to see the world through “design glasses” and expose pixel-perfect blah-blah or fancy canvases. The Lean UX Manifesto: Principle-Driven Design — Smashing Magazine. How to Stop UX Research being a Blocker. Minimum viable skills in UX. The effective minimum designers need to know to create a project or find a job. New designers can be intimidated by the amount of tools and techniques considered must-have. Are these tools equally important? What minimum should a UX designer know? 4 Skills to design anything 1. Designers should understand real problems, technical constraints, and business opportunities. ✓ Know the users. . ✓ Test and evaluate existing solutions. ✓ Understand requirements, constraints, and use cases. ✓ Piece all the information together. Tools and techniques: User interviews. 2. The overall design goal is to solve user problems with minimum effort and maximum value. . ✓ Explore all possible solutions. ✓ Know design patterns and best practices. ✓ Think through a user’s interactions from start to finish to make sure they can accomplish their goals. ✓ Visualise concepts to get feedback (paper wireframes, interactive prototypes, or hi-fidelity mockups).

Tools and techniques. 3. . ✓ Test with users. ✓ Understand analytics. 4. GuidetoNudging Rotman Mar2013. Tools for taking action. — Stanford d.school. Are You Solving the Right Problems? How good is your company at problem solving? Probably quite good, if your managers are like those at the companies I’ve studied. What they struggle with, it turns out, is not solving problems but figuring out what the problems are.

In surveys of 106 C-suite executives who represented 91 private and public-sector companies in 17 countries, I found that a full 85% strongly agreed or agreed that their organizations were bad at problem diagnosis, and 87% strongly agreed or agreed that this flaw carried significant costs. Fewer than one in 10 said they were unaffected by the issue. The pattern is clear: Spurred by a penchant for action, managers tend to switch quickly into solution mode without checking whether they really understand the problem. It has been 40 years since Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Jacob Getzels empirically demonstrated the central role of problem framing in creativity.

Part of the reason is that we tend to overengineer the diagnostic process. The Slow Elevator Problem 1. Developing Your Interviewing Skills, Part I: Preparing for an Interview. Sometimes when we have a poor interview, we blame the person we’ve interviewed. That person might be a design stakeholder or current or potential customer. You might be conducting behavioral or stakeholder interviews or running usability test sessions.

The interviews may have been at participants’ offices or homes, in your offices, or in the field. Regardless of the situation, you may be tempted to label a participant unengaged, inappropriate, inarticulate, or worse. But there is one constant in all of these different interview scenarios: you. Bad interviews can result in missing data, incomplete detail, misleading results, partial insights, and lost opportunities. What a Good Interview Sounds Like NPR, a public radio station in the United States, shared an interview they thought was so bad it was comical, on their Bryant Park Project YouTube channel. And consider what went wrong. What NPR thought went wrong was Sigur Ros.

Immersing Yourself in the Problem Space Setting the Stage. Lean UX: Getting Out Of The Deliverables Business. Cynefin for Designers – 13 Antipatterns – Medium. Rapid Prototyping 1 of 3: Sketching & Paper Prototyping. UX is UI – Mike Atherton – Medium. UX is not UI | Experience Design at Hello Erik. Sprint: Monday. Graphic design legend Milton Glaser dispels a universal misunderstanding of design and art — Quartz. Design Thinking 101. Design Doesn’t Scale. Measuring Task Times without Users: MeasuringU. Systems Thinking: A Product Is More Than the Product. UX Project Checklist. 8 habits of veteran UX designers.

3 ways to strengthen your discovery phase. How to conquer designer’s block. Continuum – ‘Live Labs': Prototyping Environments to Measure Customer Experience. Making it Real | Adaptive Path. This is Service Design Thinking. Design Kit. The importance of prototyping: Creative Confidence by Tom and David Kelley. 6 key insights on UX design. Three Ways To Reframe A Problem To Find An Innovative Solution. Don't Build When You Build-Measure-Learn.

The Design Process: A Pyramid. Design researchers must think fast and slow. The product design sprint: setting the stage. Making Good Design Decisions. #23 – How to run a design critique. Matching a Designer to the Right Project — The Year of the Looking Glass. 6 Steps for Measuring Success on UX Projects | UX Refresh. Measuring Usability Calculators. In Defense Of A/B Testing - Smashing Magazine. Statistical significance & other A/B pitfalls — Cennydd Bowles. When to Use Which User Experience Research Methods.

Testing Content. » Customer Development Interviews How-to: What You Should Be Learning. Startup Lab workshop: User Research, Quick 'n' Dirty. A Five-Step Process For Conducting User Research. How to find great participants for your user study. Ethnography Fieldguide - Helsinki Design Lab. Replacing The User Story With The Job Story — Jobs To Be Done. Minimum Viable Product vs. Minimum Delightful Product | Startup Blender.

A shorthand for designing UI flows by Ryan of Basecamp. UX Crash Course: 31 Fundamentals.