Article and Graphics by Gianpaolo Ferrer / Photos by Nate Peralta
As a novice graphic artist, I am always doing layouts for posters, illustrations, and graphics; but there is one aspect of design that I haven’t gotten any experience with: User Experience (widely-known as “UX”).
Last November 16, On-Off Group held one of their free workshops regarding UX Design titled “UX Crash Course”. I went to the workshop with little to no knowledge about the topic, but was excited to be introduced to it. Let me share what I learned with you!
Before we start, I must tell you that if you have an idea for an app or a product, don’t start coding or producing it immediately. You might be wasting your time! It is better to do research and test your product first. This will reduce the tendency of you producing it again because you have something to edit.
Step 1: Discover
Identify what the problem is!
Talk to your customers and know if they are experiencing any problems. You can do surveys, interviews, or even focus group discussions to get this information. You should also consider the environment you are in when doing your research because people night behave in different ways in different times or places.
Step 2: Design
Understand your customer because they will be the ones using your product!
Here’s a list of things that you should take note of:
- Who are your customers?
- What are the goals or problems that need solving?
- What does the customer want to achieve?
- Pain points to fix
You will be designing the steps on how the customer is going to achieve their goal. When buying your product online, for example, consider the steps that the customer will have to go through: Go to Product > Add to Cart > Go to Cart > Enter Shipping and Billing Information (Checkout)
Step 3: Prototype
Prototyping is when you sketch what your website or app is going to look like on your laptop or phone screen when achieving the steps that you designed beforehand.
It is would be highly advisable to use sticky notes and scratch paper when sketching your prototype, so that you can still edit it and test it again afterwards.
For the example earlier, you should sketch how the product will be shown, where the “Add to Cart” button and your cart will be located, and some more aspects that need to be featured.
Step 4: Evaluate
Let people test out your prototype! Find out what people feel when using it and see if there are any difficulties you need to work one.
One method that can help in your research is letting them voice out their thoughts. Comments like “Oh no, I forgot my password. What can I do to retrieve it?” can be helpful because you’ll remember certain things that you might have forgotten or figure out the aspects that need to rework. This actually happened to my group when we were making our own prototype.
On-Off Group regularly holds UX and Design Thinking workshops to the public, and some are even free of charge! Startups and big companies may also ask them for consultations and/or training. They also offer a 3-Day UX Certification Bootcamp.
If you’re interested in UX and Design, I suggest you try out their free workshops!