Design Strategy Methods:
A map that displays all the touchpoints of the consumer with your brand, as well as the key internal processes involved in it. Useful to visualize the path followed by consumers across multiple channels and how you could improve the flow.
Consumer Journey Map
A diagram that explores the multiple (sometimes invisible) steps taken by consumers as they engage with the service. Allows designers to frame the consumer’s motivations and needs in each step of the journey, creating design solutions that are appropriate for each.
A breakdown of each user task that can be accomplished within the product experience. Reminds the team of the motivations that drive the target audience to use each feature, as well as the path that they will take to do so.
A relatable snapshot of the target audience that highlights demographics, behaviors, needs and motivations through the creation of a fictional character. Personas make it easier for designers to create empathy with consumers throughout the design process.
A visualization of the company’s digital properties, the connections between them, and their purpose in the overall marketing strategy. Gives you insights around how to leverage new and existing assets to achieve the brand’s business goals.
A comprehensive analysis of competitor products that maps out their existing features in a comparable way. Helps you understand industry standards and identify opportunities to innovate in a given area.
A reductive process in the early stages of product definition that maps out the key aspects of it: what it is, who it is for and when/where it will be used. Helps the team narrow down and create consensus around what the product will be.
Scripts for interviewing key stakeholders in a project, both internal and external, to gather insights about their goals. It helps priotirize features and define key performance indicators (KPIs).
Key Performance Indicators
Pre-stabilished criteria to measure progress toward strategic goals or the maitenance of operational goals. KPIs help inform design decisions along the way and measure results of the UX efforts.
The collective process of generating constraint-free ideas that respond to a given creative brief. Allows the team to visualize a broad range of design solutions before deciding which one to stick with.
A collaborative collection of images and references that will eventually evolve into a product’s visual style guide. Allows creatives to show clients and colleagues a proposed look for the product before investing too much time on it.
A comic strip that illustrates the series of actions that consumers need to take while using the product. Translates functionalities into real-life situations, helping designers create empathy with the consumer while having a first look at the product scope.
A visual representation of the user’s flow to complete tasks within the product. It’s the user perspective of the site organization, making it easier to identify which steps could be improved or redesigned.
A breakdown of the required information and actions needed to achieve a task. Helps designers and developers understand the current system and its information flows. Makes it possible to allocate tasks appropriately within the new system.
An exploration around multiple ways to categorize content and data: topics in a news site, product categories in an ecommerce etc. Assists designers in defining the content structure to support the user’s and the organization’s goals.
Product Planning Methods:
The activity of listing all content available on a website. This list will come in handy at various stages of the project: see the big picture, define the content strategy and check the details of each page.
A thorough analysis of a product that highlights good and bad practices, using known interaction design principles as guidelines. Helps you visualize the current state of the product in terms of usability, efficiency, and effectiveness of the experience.
One of the most iconic IA deliverables, consists of a diagram of the website’s pages organized hierarchically. It makes it easy to visualize the basic structure and navigation of a website.
A product’s evolution plan with prioritized features. It could be a spreadsheet, a diagram or even a bunch of sticky notes. Shares the product strategy with the team and the road that needs to be taken to achieve its vision.
Use Cases and Scenarios
A comprehensive list of scenarios that happen when users are interacting with the product: logged in, not logged in, first visit etc. Ensures that all possible actions are thoroughly considered, as well as the system behavior in each scenario.
Numbers provided by an analytics tool or your own database about how the user interacts with your product: clicks, navigation time, search queries etc. Metrics can also “uncover the unexpected”, surfacing behaviors that are not explicit in user tests.
User Research & Validation Methods:
A panel of people discussing a specific topic or question. Teaches about the users’ feelings, opinions and even language. Useful when the target audience is new or unknown for the team.
Questions that provide numbers as result. Quick and unexpensive way of measuring user satisfaction and collecting feedback about the product. It could indicate the need for a deeper qualitative test.
An one-to-one interview research in which the user is asked to perform a series of tasks in a prototype or a product. Validates and collects feedback of flows, design and features.
A technique that consists in asking users to group content and functionalities into open or closed categories. Gives you input on content hierarchy, organization and flow.
Offering alternative versions of your product to different users and comparing the results to find out which one performs better. Great for optimizing funnels and landing pages.
A technology that analyzes the user’s eye movements across the interface. Provides data about what keeps users interested on the screen and how their reading flow could be optmized by design.
A study to measure if the website can be used by everyone, including users with special needs. It should follow the W3C guidelines to make sure that all users are satisfied.
UI Design Methods:
A quick way of visualizing a new interface by using paper and pen. Sketches are useful to validate product concepts and design approaches both with team members and users.
A visual guide that represents the page structure, as well as its hierarchy and key elements. Useful to discuss ideas with team members and clients, and to assist the work of designers and developers.
A prototype is a simulation of the website navigation and features, commonly using clickable wireframes or layouts. It’s a quick and dirty way to test and validate a product before fully developing it.
A hands-on library that provides examples (and code) of interaction design patterns to be used across the website. It not only promotes consistency, but also makes it easier improve elements as needed.