the IdeasBlog

ux, ui, ia, usability by @theYouEyeGuy

Process

How do you explain UX Process?

This post is excerpted from Quora, where I replied to the title question.  Excellent answers from colleagues covered many of the  technique and insight issues which are fundamental to UX:  knowing your audience, anticipating & analyzing needs, and responding appropriately .

Point of Reference : my Website

Examples

I have mini case studies for the engagements in my portfolio, each of which offers a rudimentary breakdown of Challenges and Solutions, the Value Proposition (of my role), Example Screenshots, Deliverables, Skills and Tools used, and my Thumbnail Analysis.

It’s a start – Lays the groundwork for ‘telling the story’

I like to refer to my website as “my resume on steroids” – It presents lots of the under-the-hood info/examples/justification, plus the context that just won’t fit gracefully into a standard print resume.

Contextual Knowledge

In anticipation of recurring topics, I’ve also captured some of “the usual suspects” issues (and their templated response) on my website, where I can categorize them, tag them and dynamically reference them, as appropriate.

This is the “bag o’ tricks” approach to describing process.

i.e. “Here’s what I have to play with. I use the tools selectively and appropriately, because every client and every engagement is unique.”

You want to be able to describe the common InfrastructureHow It All Fits Together.  TContextual Knowledge is meant to be descriptive rather than boilerplate. Although there are common themes and “best practices” – One size does not fit all.  .

 

So, What’s the Story?

The ‘bag o’ tricks’ approach is sort-of adequate for laying context, but let’s face it –People like a good story.  And clients now demand it.  In fact, your career success in UX may depend on being a good storyteller.

Process is the plot.  It’s a template for thought & action.

I like to use the case study examples in my portfolio as a reference point for telling the Process Story – hopefully I can find one that’s targeted and relevant to the client.  But nowadays the expectation is a packaged Scenario. So, I’m starting to collect those, as well.

 

Start with a Scenario

Presentationally, it’s kind of funky – but this is a situation in which sketchiness and scribbled notes lend an air of authenticity to the work.

The challenge in explaining “my process” usually rests on understanding – and responding to – the client’s agenda (the Scenario) with an accessible, understandable rationale for action, which is usually based on the appropriate usage of some recognizable tools.

 

 

It’s articulated through a Narrative

Explain your UX ProcessThe above approach is sort-of adequate for laying context, but let’s face it – People like a good story.   And clients now demand it.  Nowadays the expectation is a packaged Scenario.  So, I’m starting to collect those “how-we-get-to-a-solution” stories on my Blog as well: Process : the JobBlog.  It’s kind of funky – This is a situation in which sketchiness and scribbled notes lend an air of authenticity.
In fact, your career success in UX may depend on being a good storyteller.  Process is the plot.  It’s a template for thought and action.

… and based on a Template

I like to use the case study examples in my portfolio as a reference point for telling the Process Story – hopefully I can find one that’s targeted and relevant to the client.

Explain your UX Process
The Showcase is a collection of engagement case studies that all have similar qualities.  I’ve “tagged” my Portfolio engagements with topical keywords based on their domain of experience (like “intranet” or “financial”), because these types of engagements tend to share similar process challenges.

… which is expressed through a Model

Pictures, graphs and textual explanations are all good, but ultimately we (and clients) are most comfortable when we see a rendering of the thing itself.

Explain your UX Process As a part of my process I’ve always included the “clickable demosite” as a critical deliverable.  This was a competitive advantage in ‘the Bad Old Days’ when UX practitioners were primarily consultants, and few had the range of skills to do it all.
Agile development groups, the increasing sophistication of tools, and pre-packaged commoditizeddesign packages all speed and ease this aspect of the process.

Organization / Structure

Essentially this is the ‘big bag o’ tricks’  approach to describing process.  “Here’s what I have to play with. I use the tools appropriately, because every client and every engagement is unique.” Still, there are constants – and you want to be able to understand – and describe – the Infrastructure – How It All Fits Together.

 

 

© The Communication Studio LLC

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: