To be able to design a product in an effective way, we have to understand our users, their goals, motivation and context of use. At both ZeeMee and ModCloth I implemented UX Research, and mentored other designers in it. Different research questions call for different research methods. Among others, I’ve used contextual interviews, observation, co-creation, and listening labs.
People don’t always do what they say they do. That means it’s important to dig into what the user has actually done in the past, and observe users while they do their thing.
To make sense of the research and be able to define the problem, we synthesize our findings. This can be done and communicated in several ways. Creating personas and user journeys helps both the team and stakeholders empathizing with the users. It can also help us dig into details and raise new questions.
Translating the most important findings into “How Might We” questions is a valuable activity that takes us to the next phase: Ideate.
Ideas can come from anywhere, and I believe in bringing stakeholders into ideation sessions. I often involve the PM, engineers, other designers, and customer support or sales members.
There are several ways to run an ideation workshop. I’ve done a mix and match of techniques like crazy eights, GIGA-mapping, world cafe, brain dump etc. Whatever lets us eliminate group think, generate many ideas, and have a little fun is what I’ll go for.
To move fast, fail early, and learn a lot, I almost always start prototyping with pen and paper. It helps me get a clearer picture and better understanding before diving into higher fidelity in Figma.
I use both low and high fidelity prototypes in communication with stakeholders and in user testing with end users.
I’ve been surprised by what I’ve found during user testing more than once. I absolutely love testing designs of all levels of fidelity. In addition to user testing throughout the design process, I make sure to set measurable project goals and track how old and new designs measure up against the goals. A/B testing is great for testing performance of different design decisions.
It’s important to know that this is an iterative process and every step can move us back to a previous step with more clarity. It also depends from project to project how much time I spend in each category.
“ Ingrid has a high standard of accountability and always puts the customer first. She is relentless with user research and was a great partner at keeping the team focused on the "why" in regards to what we were working on.“