My Spot in the UX World
I believe that consumers become return users and loyalists if the brand provides a meaningful, well-functioning tool and content to the consumer.
Working and training other UX designers, we kick projects off by creating competitive analysis, heuristic evaluation, industry research and map the results at the target audience to identify user pain points. We review the consumer needs and see how missed opportunities can improve the current brand platforms or the information is talked over with the creative directors to pitch new digital applications to the brand.
I consider impact of the omni-channel experience when helping to define the project scope and UX production scale. We are living in experiences that don't start and end on one device platform (such as mobile phones) or digital channel (social media or web), but continuously move from one to another, which creates the need to design for the experiences to carry through on each device.
Stop Talking, Start Drawing
Collaboration is key to initially define the scope and goal of a project and ultimately build the delicate and complex net of processes to arrive at the product release. Working with different project managers, executive directors, strategists and the product owner has helped me to realize that it is very easy to miscommunicate across teams. It is easy to think one is talking about the same concept when it is all written down. As visual animals, I have introduced various workshop methods and white-boarding sessions to create fake POC to get teams to see the elephant in the room.
I love research and process, but there are times when it is overkill and too much data just makes things confusing and overwhelming. In the last few years, I have broken down some traditional inflated UX research processes, making them leaner and focused on resolving very specific questions that can always be expanded. I am a big fan of simplifying internal processes whenever possible.
What is happening in the UX World?
I am excited about how brands are into creating a seamless experience across devices to provide or improve the product's utility for individual consumers and for a multi-user environment.
It is affirmative to think off what brands have and will come up to create this connected environment. Some industries where we see cross-device interactions are home and fitness. Let’s take it further and think beyond the current fitness application that tracks the heart rate and calories burned during the morning run. Imagine the difference in the experience, requirements and ask of the application in a cross-device experience. The experience during the run is very passive and a runner may check or not check the calories or heart rate based on the personal goal. Coming home, sweaty and hungry, late for the office, the runner grabs a snack, stops the tracking and leaves for the office. During the drive to the office, he may want to review his overall run stats and share it with his personal trainer. Sitting down at his desk, he compares his numbers and receives a recommendation from the trainer about how to increase his carbohydrates and improve his speed. Or a runner with hypoglycemic tendencies gets a notification that he should consume a carbohydrate gel after 30 minutes of endurance training.
Each user at each of these touch points expects different information and device displays to take actions. The challenge is to identify the various touch points and user expectations for what information to access and what actions they may like to take. Strategically, UX questions have to address the brand objective, business goal and how that agrees with the user expectations. The answers from this research informs the UX recommendation on what features and functions create a consistent, overarching cross-device experience and on which devices to implement them. UX and interaction design production has to define and resolve interaction patterns on each of the devices from trackers, mobile phones, watches, TVs, tablets and computers with various display, interaction and technical constraints.
The next few years will be exciting. I'm looking forward to how the industries will slowly chip away at improving current cross-device experiences and tap into utilizing personal data to improve content delivery.