User Experience Design

Key Workflow

  • Ongoing discussions around 'Thinking Wall' and ideas pinned/drawn up
  • Rough sketches and wireframing on paper/whiteboards
  • Higher fidelity wireframing created with AxureSketch or Illustrator
  • A/B testing once products are launched
  • Have invited small sample groups of users into the office for feedback on products both recruited and 'guerrilla' style
  • Have tried UX techniques like Opportunity Statements, Persona 4x4, Customer conversations and Wireframe walkthroughs
  • On site user testing is recorded with Morae and shared with the client afterwards
  • Occasional use of Usertesting.com
  • Business Intelligence (BI) department influence product direction through analytics metrics
  • Analysing competitor's digital products and generating insights and recommendations
  • Researching both interaction design and technology trends
  • User feedback via support teams
  • Regular UX meetings on design and code implementations

In the past I have been both part of the UX team and a Sprint Team. The UX team have no set 'procedure' but have a large white board across one wall which we named the 'Thinking Wall' and several other smaller ones situated around the department.

When we have an idea on what projects are in the backlog or been briefed on a specific story we discuss, sketch, wireframe and pin examples of solutions on the wall and then it's a process of refinement and constant iteration.

In terms of feedback we A/B test most new releases and hear a lot from our BI department who constantly analyse various metrics on pages, features, engagement etc. Some of this information is displayed via ChartIO. We also have a large support staff that flag any UX issues that users phone or email us about. In the past we have also tried inviting users into the office to sit through a series of tasks which has had varying success. When we have done it though the sessions have been conducted on a laptop and mobile device and recorded with Morae and shared with the client afterwards.

In terms of tools, Most of our decisions are arrived at through constant discussion and iteration with rough wireframes and sketches on whiteboards. For signoff purposes or displaying ideas to other areas of the business we use Axure and the Adobe Creative Suite although I personally have moved to Sketch for most of my UX design work and higher fidelity wireframing as I find it a quicker way to work. Sitemaps are usually created with XMind or Omnigraffle.

Agile / Project Management Skills

We originally worked on a Waterfall basis but in August 2013 moved to multi-disciplinary teams within an Agile environment which has entailed the following;

  • Meeting with external clients to discuss business requirements and understand their needs
  • Collaborating with internal stakeholders, project owner and developers
  • Using JIRA to manage project workflows and assign tasks to team members
  • Interviewing job candidates, hiring and managing freelancers
  • Auditing existing digital products including assets and code base whilst providing recommendations for improvement
  • Working on 14 day Sprints
  • Daily 15 minute stand ups to discuss progress
  • Retrospective meeting at the end of each Sprint to discuss good/bad points

For communication we use Slack for text and document sharing to ensure remote workers are kept in the loop and Skype or Google Hangouts for face to face discussions.

I hope that gives you a rough idea on my UX workflow and working environment. Here are some photos;

A section of my 'Thinking Wall' at Global Personals in this instance showing some competitor research

A section of my 'Thinking Wall' at Global Personals in this instance showing some competitor research

Another view of the 'Thinking Wall'

Another view of the 'Thinking Wall'

Layout wireframe created with Sketch

Layout wireframe created with Sketch

Navigation wireframe

Navigation wireframe

Profile enhancements fleshed out further

Profile enhancements fleshed out further

Profile enhancements fleshed out further

Profile enhancements fleshed out further

Profile enhancements fleshed out further

Profile enhancements fleshed out further

A site map showing a client's existing Information Architecture (IA) using XMind

A site map showing a client's existing Information Architecture (IA) using XMind

The proposed solution to the IA with superfluous content pared back to support the new business strategy

The proposed solution to the IA with superfluous content pared back to support the new business strategy

The proposed Home page wire-frame in Axure

The proposed Home page wire-frame in Axure

A wire-frame showing generic content

A wire-frame showing generic content

A montage of our workflow including preparation for a sprint and demo

A montage of our workflow including preparation for a sprint and demo

A single user journey to book an event through a client's site (the marketing department requested it be coloured to tie in with their presentation slides)

A single user journey to book an event through a client's site (the marketing department requested it be coloured to tie in with their presentation slides)

An example of a Persona exercise for a user of British Car Auctions

An example of a Persona exercise for a user of British Car Auctions