Well now I know the importance of UX, what next?

Hmm… You have read numerous article on UX, you have attended many seminars which tells the importance of UX, you have even done a UX course. Now what? how do I apply all this ‘GYAAN’ to my products?

Well guess what you are in luck….(especially if you are from India), today I am going to share with you NOT GYAAN (that you already have) but the practical use case of how to apply this in your organization even though you do not have budget or top management support.

UX is not a field that you only as a product manager/owner have to understand, its importance has to be understood by all the stakeholders involved in the awesome product creation, for most of the people UX only means user interface (web 2.0 design elements) which is some time exactly the opposite of what UX is all about.

So that everybody is on the same page I want to sum up basic definition of UX with you (just a refresher)

The User Experience is everything that happens to your users when they interact with your product/services via your web application, mobile application or online communications, Social media. It includes everything they see, hear and do as well as their emotional reactions.

So let’s start out with real world example.

Assume you are creating a super duper product related to Online education, which provides online education, certificates , learning material or learning management system (LMS)etc. because there are many use cases for different types of users we will stick to one aspect of providing video tutorials part of the system (for simplicity).

Now the process of UX starts at the very first phase of product creation, that’s why product owners needs to be involved in every aspects of the product creation, as a part of the product creation we start out with basic use cases that product is expected to complete with ease.

So in our example these might be some of the most common use cases (remember we are considering only video tutorials).

  • – User can search for video tutorials(VT) by keyword, category, authors, levels,
  • – User should be able to filter search results by price, newest or oldest.
  • – Users should be able to watch video in low/high bandwidth.
  • – Users should be able to pay online using call types of Credit/Debit/Net banking.
  • – User Should be able to track his/her progress
  • – Users should be able to take test after each video tutorial to test their retention.
  • – Users should be able to get recommendation based on their browsing history.
  • – Users should be able to share feedback on each title or authors.

Now of course all the products and features should be derived from these use cases.

These use cases will be basis for all of your features that will be created, now in order to create super user experience you have to objectively find out how would most of the users will react to these different tasks (and yes without spending all your time and efforts on final product).

So here comes the solution directly from NASA’s lab (trust me that’s what they do, before they spends billions of taxpayer’s money: P) –

Prototyping, yes prototyping is what will save you from spending so many hours of business analyst, developers, tester, content person , UI, Designer and of course tons of your or VCs money. Here is how I create prototype on budget (deserve that bonus).

1. Create your prototype on paper (we call it paper-prototyping), it’s simple, it’s free, it start conversation.

2. After you are done with basic level of brainstorming within your peers, it’s time to make your prototype professional, I was using Photoshop earlier till I get introduced to Pencil, it is free software which works like a charm for wireframe prototyping.

3. At this level you are good to go and demo your ideas to senior managers and other stakeholder to get their feedback, (hold on, I know customer is the king, we will come to that later).

4. In-corporate their feedback and give the wireframe to your designer , who will then create good looking Real Mockup, after which you can link them in Dreamweaver to make it look like real application, same process can be done with mobile mockups.

5. Now comes where you will get the chance of add some magic, using some Usability testing, get hold of some completely new people who have not used your app before, and share with them the most important task that most common persona will be performing

6. Watch them doing those tasks and ask them what were they thinking when they achieved their tasks, for example if you have asked them to add video to their favorite list, and they have performed it with ease, ask them how did they get to know where the ‘add to favorite’ button or link was, you will be amazed to know some of their thinking.

Similarly when they are not able to perform any task ask them “Why did you get lost?”, they will then share the real secret by saying “I thought that option should have been under that menu” (that’s where Information Architecture comes in ) if you see any pattern in user’s thinking , note this down and make changes accordingly.

If you see by doing all this we are trying to achieve these objectives.

– We are not relying on our gut feeling alone we are looking for some empirical evidences to justify the way we will design our products

– We are doing it not after product is launch but before that (so that we can get our bonuses), it saves everything (money, lost time, lost opportunity)

– If done right we will be confident that our product is devoid of any usability flaws

– Ultimately user will be able to happily use our website and thanks us by coming again.

In nut shell by improving our user experience we are removing any roadblocks that we create un-intentionally, while user is trying to achieve his/her target.



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