UX24/7 SERVICES FRAMEWORK
We provide research based insights to help businesses improve their digital assets and optimise user experience for their end-users .Our services framework consists of 4 stages that facilitate development of digital products.
At the start of a product or feature development, when it may be an intangible concept, we conduct the following activities that enrich your understanding of the user experience requirements of your product or proposition.
At concept stage (e.g. ideas), identifying and understanding the user base is of critical importance, as is gaining stakeholder input. Early concepts can take the form of scenario descriptions or concept sketches (created with input from the business), which facilitate evaluation with target users. Testing the concept through research validates the requirements that will form the foundation of a developing proposition. Key learnings from research typically include;
- User personas & usage scenarios
- Information needs users will have at various points within user journeys
- Visual design & interaction requirements
The focus is proposition evaluation…
Research provides invaluable insight into user context, motivation, information requirements and feature expectations when engaging with a digital proposition. Building on this acquired knowledge refines the proposition at concept stage. The benefits of researching upfront are;
- Early validation of a digital product proposition (website/app) assesses its clarity and the propensity to use by intended target audience.
- The learnings at this early stage enable stakeholders to make informed decisions and rationalise solutions before spending any resources on development.
User Journey Mapping
User journeys illustrate plausible user workflows within an application while presenting an opportunity to optimise them in view of business and user objectives.
Insights from concept validation and proposition evaluation establish the progression of steps for key user journeys. Use case scenarios validated during concept research are prioritised as end-to-end journeys to be mapped.
A typical user journey will include the following high-level details;
- Triggers – scenarios that lead to users initiating a user journey
- Touchpoints – various interactions that a user will have with the website
- Trace – path(s) a user can take in a sequential workflow from initiation to completion
Example showing user journey mapping outputs
IA & Taxonomy Creation
Concept validation and user journey mapping are instrumental in the creation of an information model which illustrates the hierarchy and workflow that will be required for comprehension and task completion.
Common data, and user vocabulary per user type will also start evolving from the analysis of user context. The information model will help prototype creation.
Example showing initial Information Model
User Experience Requirements
Towards the conclusion of the generative research stage, user experience requirements begin to emerge. These include indicative findings relating to interaction requirements, content hierarchy schemes and navigation mechanisms.
Beyond the planning stage, when you begin developing prototypes, and in the full design we continue to support you. During the prototyping and rapid iterative testing phase of a project we create (or support in-house design teams) and validate an interactive model of existing or new digital propositions.
Based on insights, or as a natural progression from conceptual stage, we create low-medium fidelity prototypes to depict end-to-end user journeys. Alternatively, we use visual comps to create an interactive prototype for both usability and brand proposition testing. Prototype development is low on cost and resource, and offers an opportunity to modify design thinking before any development work has begun.
We develop the wireframes and prototypes in software such as Axure RP and run through various stages of user research to deliver an intuitive and working prototype to you or your design agency.
Selection of Prototyping/Wireframing Tools
As a project moves into the full design we develop the Information Architecture (IA) and taxonomy. Task-based evaluation can be used to test the user journey design and user journey flows that have been depicted by these prototypes. We also validate the design (Stage 3- Design Research) and ensure that it remains intuitive and effective.
Examples of low-fidelity prototypes
We recommend modelling end-to-end user journeys or finite functional components into a working prototype.
Adding interactivity through prototyping creates a realistic user experience that can be validated with users and stakeholders alike. This early evaluation, focused on key task flows with various user types, is an effective way to test and adapt the navigation, page structures and task flows.
Rapid Iterative Testing
Prototyping functional components allows usability testing to move at the same pace as development sprint cycles. Once through a round of research, updated prototypes are tested with users iteratively. Incremental changes can then be made based on observations during research, and the team can either validate the updates or plan development activities for the component.
When visually treated designs are available, as part of an ongoing build/development, we carry out a more complete evaluation. Whether that is evaluating the design treatment, the impact of the design on user experience, or looking at the taxonomy for the first time, we have services to support you.
Research provides invaluable insight into user context, motivation and information requirements when engaging with a digital proposition.
Design research using either qualitative or quantitative methods helps uncover issues that users face when interacting with the visual elements of a proposition.
In most digital interactions, users perform simple and complex tasks to accomplish their goal. This can involve tasks such as browsing to relevant content, or following a sequence of steps requiring input and UI interactions.
We measure the intuitiveness, clarity of instructions, and overall success rate when end-users carry out these tasks.
IA & Taxonomy Review
Taxonomy is a scheme of classification used to create hierarchical relationships within an information system, Information architecture is organisation of such taxonomies and corresponding content.
We use a combination of desk-based review of the product/information hierarchy, and verification of end-user vocabulary through sorting and grouping exercises with representative samples of the target audiences to evaluate classification schemes.
During optimisation research, the proposition is evaluated as a complete solution with emphasis on optimisation and task success. Typically scheduled at the end of product development or an MVP release cycle, research identifies potential issues that may not have been anticipated during design, and benchmarks the product against competitors or a previous release.
An existing digital process or a proposition that is about to launch, benefits from optimisation at any stage. Pre-launch workflow optimisation is a checkpoint wherein end-to-end user journeys are tested for any ambiguity or incompleteness. This is a vital last-minute check, highly recommended in case of a missed user experience evaluation in earlier development stages.
An end-to-end evaluation of core user journeys validates the target users propensity to use the digital product. This activity can be conducted via a desk-based expert review or a qualitative lab study with sample users. This is the final step of validation and evaluation to ensure that the digital asset stays true to the original vision.
The site or app is also ready to be evaluated for accessibility as the code is the key component to be reviewed. Making a website accessible for people with disabilities offers a range of benefits and is a legal requirement in many countries.
At this stage, summative research also measures the comprehensiveness of the proposition, and understanding of key messaging around USPs. All visual and copy is assumed to be finalised after this activity has concluded and findings reported.