My goal as a researcher is to discover users wants and needs through inquiry and observation. Only by listening do we get to the emotion behind a users actions. Only by observing can we see how users feel, or how they struggle. Only through empathy can the best designs emerge.
My product design strategy incorporates the three key concepts of integrated design, lean UX and metrics. These help to focus design efforts on creating innovative product solutions.
With an integrated design approach, the experience extends beyond the interface. It encompasses every touchpoint and engagement. Good experiences are not always recognized, but bad ones can have a long-term effect. By looking at more than just how a product or service is delivered, this holistic approach can inform a new direction or optimize an existing solution.
Adapting lean UX practices gets you to the design and iteration stages faster. Lean UX should also incorporate the designer into the research process. The key questions here are who, what and why combined with a dedicated effort to observe and empathize with users to understand their perspective.
Metrics show whether a strategy is working or not. Success can’t be realized, and you can’t learn from your failures unless they’re measured. Establishing them early and tying them to design decisions is vital.
These are fundamental principles that influence how I approach product design:
—Understanding the underlying problem before attempting to solve it.
—Being mindful of the user by creating a positive and enjoyable experience.
—Making things simple—the design should be easy to use and learn but most of all intuitive.
—Acknowledging that I’m not the one—my background, experience and how I approach a problem is going to be different than the users.
—Having empathy—going out of my way to understand the users needs and to keep asking questions until I understand why they do what they do.