Building and growing your UX technique and skillset is essential for the delivery of a best-in-class product. At Bamburai, we always encourage our designers to keep learning, to put one or two hours a day aside to pick up a UX or product design book and read a few chapters; those two hours could make the difference between a dissatisfied and impressed client.
You see, knowledge does bring power, but it also instills confidence. Confidence then creates an active, engaged mind. This positive chain of events begins with education - it begins with picking up a book and just reading.
However, once you learn new, impressive techniques, how do you know when to use them? As mentioned in the article, all client visions differ, which as a result, means having to assemble different strategies. Is the client looking to solve a particular problem, or is it an extensive budget overhaul of their current, failing product?
In this article, we choose some of our favorite UX techniques, when to use them, when to overlook them, and the advantages they bring.
Let’s begin with the most common UX technique, as it’s essential to understand the misuse of UX personas. UX personas should not be used as a deliverable to impress your client. UX Personas are quick and easy to assemble… when misused.
To put together a purposeful UX persona, one must collate the research data and find correlations and patterns. Multiple personas should be created for larger projects, or double-sided business models and products.
Create UX personas for new products or clients shifting their business model. Whilst the persona makes the data more digestible, it also ensures the client is on the same page when we get down to the design stage. You want the client to understand that we are designing for the user - we are designing for people.
If your client has extensive knowledge of the user, and the data backs this up, there is little reason to create a UX persona unless it’s for your own personal use.
Card sorting exercises
A crucial workshop technique allows UX researchers to uncover the mental model of their users, in terms of navigation and product structure.
The downside of these exercises - when you want to conduct them with real users - is the time and costs involved. Participants will want to be paid, especially if you invite them to your offices. However, if the product is extensive and complex, it is absolutely crucial that a client invests in this exercise. Having the participants conduct this exercise in-house is also critical, as you want to maintain their focus and interest.
There are also options to conduct a card-sorting exercise online at a cheaper cost, but this comes with one big downside - the participant’s focus, or lack of. Card sorting exercises, especially open exercises, require focus. If conducted online, it is common for participants to hurry the process with little to no thinking and receive their payment at the end.
For extensive and complex products, invest in offline exercises, for smaller products, organize internal card sorting exercises with employees who are not invested in the product to remove bias.
Customer Journey mapping
Customer journey mapping is of the most critical exercises in product design. Whilst essential, it also requires time, focus and energy to ensure every customer touchpoint has been added to the map.
To create this map as it should be, it is essential for the client to provide multiple employees across the organisation to get involved, from customer-facing employees to logistics and delivery personnel.
At Bamburai, we create Customer Journey maps when the client wants us to think beyond the product, rather than fixing a number of scoped UX issues within the product. If the client is happy to invest in this area, it is a massive plus for the project’s success.
Under no circumstances should a designer assemble a customer journey map on their own, and use it as a deliverable to impress the client. Any mistakes within this map, and it could do more harm than good.