This week, I spent some time working through the principles and practices around a good User Centred Design offer. All good user experience starts with understanding the customer or audience of the client. Documenting the current user journey from start to transaction is key when designing the right solution.
Briefly, the course identified tasks and processes which allows the designer to analyse the user's processes, spotting the pain points and frustrations along the way. Observations are then documented in a Experience Map which in turn can be ordered to define the tasks, actions, pain points and goals. Sessions can then prioritise different activities. It's important to focus on the problems and not concern ourselves with solution at this stage.
Personas are created to identify the characteristics of the common user. Doing this task helps narrow down the behaviours of specific types of users. Assumption personas are generalisations of users; mobile users, IT savvy or retired for example. Data-driven personas are created from quantitive statistics from data usage reports, market research etc.
Then onto Ideation, Scenarios, Storyboarding, Paper Prototyping and finally Planning.
In the area I work, I already do this with clients to help them achieve their goals. However, it's always good to refresh one's skills and build up new trends.